Russia recently held elections for the State Duma. The Duma is the body legislative of the country, the parliament. After an eventful campaign, Russians went to the polls this Sunday to vote for their political representatives.
The results are just in, as most precincts have reported the score that each party has obtained. And the big picture is a favorable one for Vladimir Putin. Sunday’s vote sees him consolidating power in Russia, in the face of his critics and adversaries.
Results in Russia
United Russia is the political party of Russian President Vladimir Putin. It has just won a majority in the parliamentary elections in Russia.
The news agency Tass reported on the results of the election. The news agency is state-run and controlled by the Kremlin. According to Tass, 93 percent of all the votes have been counted. Out of those, United Russia got 54.28% of the vote.
Tass says that preliminary results are available from the Central Election Commission. The results suggest that United Russia will win 343 seats. There are 450 seats available in the parliamentary race.
The Communist Party got 13.54% of the vote. So, they are going to get 42 seats in parliament.
And it looks like the Liberal Democratic Party is going to get 39 seats, while the Fair Russia Party will get 23 seats.
There was less enthusiasm for this year’s election. According to Tass, voter turnout at the polls was 47 percent. But compared to five years ago, when it was 60 percent, the turnout is significantly lower.
The head of the Central Election Commission, Ella Pamfilova said that she does not expect any major changes to happen with the results. She told reporters that the results were “rather clear and definitive”. She also said that the results reflect reality and that should anyone have any doubts they can address the Commission.
A New Kind of Election Campaign
There were new developments in the election campaign. In past elections, most candidates that were in opposition to the Kremlin were blocked or excluded. But in this Sunday’s election, something unprecedented happened. Hundreds of critics of the Kremlin could stand for election and they ran for office. Some of them did indeed complain of being threats or harassment. But the move is still one step closer to Russia having officials that were elected democratically.
The candidates even received media exposure. Some of the candidates got air time on state television. With the Kremlin controlling state television, the station is usually free of any voices that contradict or oppose the power that be.
Mikhail Kasyanov is the leader of the PARNAS opposition party in Russia. He said that there is an attempt to have the elections look free and fair, so that the elections meet international standards.
Critics of the Moscow regime say that it is not an accurate picture. One such case is the one of Mikhail Kasyanov.
Kasyanov is a former prime minister. He became a vocal critic of Putin and is one of the leaders of the opposition. Allegedly, he has received attacks repeatedly during the campaign.
Image source: here.