Putin to speak at United Russia pre-election convention in Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin will speak today at the United Russia pre-election convention in Moscow. Today’s convention will occur despite

Putin to attend United Russia pre election convention in Moscow

Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/ Agence France-Presse

Russian President Vladimir Putin will speak today at the United Russia pre-election convention in Moscow.

Today’s convention will occur despite this weekend’s COVID-19 lockdown. The convention will approve their party list for the upcoming State Duma elections in September. Current party leader Dmitry Medvedev is expected to head the list despite his waning popularity among the population.

In recent months, the Russian government has taken numerous steps to ensure United Russia remains the ruling party. A series of constitutional amendments benefitted United Russia’s electoral standing and allowed Putin, who backs United Russia, to remain president until 2036. Most recently, the Russian Government labeled major opposition as extremists and banned them from participating in elections to help present any serious challenge.

Expect Putin to back Medvedev as party leader. This is most likely a calculated move to prevent popular Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, who if made party leader, would appear to be Putin’s presidential successor. In the medium-term, United Russia is expected to remain in firm control of the State Duma due to the crackdown on opposition. A United Russia government would likely increase investment in tech and protectionist laws to diversify and grow domestic business, and continue espousing anti-Western rhetoric.

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