Kremlin-controlled parties retain control of the Russian parliament

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Newsletter: Euro Express

The ruling party controlled by the Russian Kremlin retained an absolute majority in the parliament after election campaigns were compromised by widespread fraud accusations and suppression of supporters of imprisoned opposition activist Alexei Navalny.

Its leader Andrei Turchak said on Monday that the United Russia Party is the main carrier of President Vladimir Putin’s policy and is expected to maintain 314 out of 450 seats. The absolute majority of two-thirds is lower than the 334 in the last election in 2016.

The three-day vote is Putin’s last vote before the expiration of his term in 2024. It is an important test of the Kremlin to show that people are angry about the decline in living standards, the decline in support for a unified Russian Federation, and the adoption of multiple repressive measures. Under the circumstances, the Kremlin still controls the political system. It is necessary to combat foreign interference.

After the outbreak of the new crown pneumonia in the Kremlin last week, Putin is self-isolating. He thanked the Russians for their “trust in life and a positive attitude.”

Navalny’s team-mainly in exile after the court declared them an “extremist organization” in June-tried to guide supporters to vote for one of the Kremlin-approved candidates based on the recommendations of the “Smart Voting” app. Express anger towards the government.

The motivation for tactical voting has largely been broken Apple and Google succumbed to pressure from the Kremlin Activists said the app would be unavailable when the polls on Friday began, and the introduction of online voting in Moscow and six other regions made it more difficult to track possible forgeries.

Golos, an independent election monitoring official designated as a “foreign agent,” said that he has counted nearly 5,000 possible violations in public opinion polls. But Ella Pamfilova, the chairman of the Election Committee, told Putin that “compared to the last election, there has been a significant reduction in violations, much less than ever before,” and said that only three polling stations in the country will be voted. Cancel.

With 99% of the votes counted, the United Russia Party won 50% of the votes. The Communist Party is the only party in the Kremlin-controlled Duma Party that opposes Putin’s major moves in recent years. ——Almost double the amount in 2016, reaching 19%.

All but two of Russia’s 85 regions voted for the unification of Russia in proportional voting, and the party also won 198 of the remaining 225 regions.

Six other parties closely related to the Kremlin will also occupy seats in the Duma, including the New People’s Party established last year, apparently to attract the support of the Navalny middle class.

The voter turnout rate was 52%, an increase from 47% in 2016.

Members of the local election committee emptied a ballot box in Moscow. © Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images

The opposition accused election officials of falsifying the results because several Moscow candidates suffered an unexplained delay in calculating nearly 2 million online ballots, and suddenly lost their lead in the final count, which gave the United Russia Party a big win in the capital. Win all.

Navalny claimed that candidates supported by “smart votes” won almost all seats in Moscow and St. Petersburg, the two cities where opposition sentiment is greatest.

“So the robot thought about it, took a cigarette, and decided to postpone the publication [the results] Until the dexterous hand of unifying Russia formed the result, so they said exactly the opposite,” Navalny wrote in prison, and his team posted a message on Instagram.

The Communists said they would refuse to recognize the results online. But the municipality soon refused to issue them a protest permit, citing the risk of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I know that this result is impossible,” wrote on Twitter the Communist Party candidate Mikhail Lobanov, who was defeated by a narrow margin in western Moscow. “Hundreds of thousands of people voted for us. Yes, this is a protest vote, but I believe that we,’veto’ candidates, have a responsibility to defend these votes with our voters.”

The US State Department stated that the suppression of elections was “not conducive to free and fair procedures,” while the British Foreign Office stated that the suppression was a “regression” of Russian democracy.

A spokesperson for Josep Borrell, the head of EU foreign policy, stated that the vote was conducted in an “atmosphere of daunting criticism and independent voices” and cited “reporting during the voting period. Independent and reliable sources of serious violations”.

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