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Duma vote: free and fair

All the four political parties already present in the State Duma lower house of the Russian parliament have secured their presence in the new legislature, according to the preliminary results of Sunday’s vote. The voting was generally fault-free with the deputy head of the Central Election Commission Leonid Ivlev mentioning just over 100 complaints filed so far, which is just a fraction of what we had in March.

More than half of the 110 million eligible voters turned up at the polling stations and it is already clear that United Russia is leading with over 50 percent.

The other three parties that cleared the 7 percent threshold are Communists, A Just Russia and the Liberal Democrats. Yabloko, Patriots of Russia and Right Cause did not make it.

Despite numerous forecasts to the contrary, United Russia finished way ahead of its rivals and reaffirmed its leadership, says Boris Gryzlov, who heads the UR’s Supreme Council:

"Russia’s Vth Duma worked against the backdrop of the global financial crisis in Europe and we still managed to gain public support while the 2010-11 elections in the UK, Spain and Portugal resulted in new leaders. Our current victory means that United Russia remains the ruling party and I want to thank our voters."

Three opposition parties didn’t make it to the parliament, including Yabloko that failed to score even 5%.

The Communists, however, improved their results but mainly due to the protest vote, believes political analyst Mikhail Remizov:

"Those who voted for the opposition actually voted against the ruling party."

The head of the National Energy Security Fund Konstantin Simonov believes that the VIth Duma may see a populist leftist bloc as three parties drifted towards the opposition during the 2011 campaign:

"The recent campaign was a standoff between United Russia and the opposition which differs from the previous elections when several parties had supported United Russia. Nevertheless, the country’s ruling party managed to keep its dominance even though all other parties were against it."

The elections were unexpectedly highly assessed by foreign observers who went to more than 30 country’s regions. According to Mateusz Piskorski, the head of the European Centre for Geopolitical Analysis, the observers registered only technical flaws which can’t affect the results.

By Lada Korotun

The Voice of Russia, December 4, 2011

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Analytical series “The Political compass”:

Political power in Russia after presidential election
State Corporations in the Russian Economy
Political Results of 2007: Russia on the Eve of Power Shuffle
Political Landscape Ahead of the Parliamentary Election 2007
«Centers of influence» in the Russian politics

All reports for: 2009 , 2008 , 2007

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