Russia's new election chief whose notorious predecessor oversaw massive election fraud, says she will resign if the upcoming parliamentary vote is rigged.

Vote-rigging in the 2011 parliamentary elections under Central Election Commission chairman Vladimir Churov spilled into the biggest anti-government protests in a decade.

Ella Pamfilova, a well-known human rights activist who was appointed to the job five months ago, told reporters on Thursday that she has worked hard to clean up the system and overcome distrust of the electoral process.

Pamfilova pledged to resign if Sunday's parliamentary election is rigged. The former presidential human rights ombudsman mentioned that her efforts to clean up the system and prevent vote-rigging in favor of the ruling party often clash with the interests of local governors.