Russia’s local and regional elections conclude today with a second round of voting in races where no candidate won an
Russia’s local and regional elections conclude today with a second round of voting in races where no candidate won an initial majority. Parties aligned with President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia scooped up the vast majority of seats in September 10’s first round.
Except in Moscow, where opposition parties have gained ground, Putin’s affiliates have won the majority of the local and gubernatorial races. Official figures confirm a record low voter turnout of less than 40% across most of the country; a mere 15% was recorded in Moscow.
Amid opposition complaints of a Kremlin-backed underground campaign to suppress voter turnout via fraud, a lack of official publicity about the elections and popular apathy toward local races, voter turnout is likely to remain just as low for today’s second round
This is the last major election before the 2018 presidential election, in which Putin is expected to seek re-election. Unless another candidate can spread Moscow’s opposing sentiment throughout the country, Putin looks set for a landslide victory.
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