Reports of ballot stuffing taint Russian elections, but a pro-Kremlin party retains power.
Multiple claims of breaches, including ballot stuffing, marred the 2017 Russian elections, but the ruling pro-Kremlin party retained control.
Nearly 99 percent of the country’s voting stations handed the ruling United Russia party 49.8% of the vote for 225 seats distributed by parties in the state parliament elections. According to the Central Election Commission, United Russia candidates are leading in 198 of the 225 seats decided directly by voters.
United Russia’s two-thirds constitutional majority in parliament has been verified, according to Ella Pamfilova, chair of the Central Election Commission.
The vote, however, has been called into question due to multiple claims of irregularities, including ballot stuffing. People trying to force heaps of ballots into boxes were seen on camera in videos spreading on social media, as were brawls with poll monitors.
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The vote was keenly scrutinized for any signals that Putin’s grip on power might be slipping, even if just slightly, ahead of the presidential race in 2024. It’s unclear if Putin will run for president again, appoint a successor, or chart a new course — but he’ll be expected to retain his hand on the rudder nonetheless, and an obedient State Duma, or parliament, will be critical to his plans.
In fact, the results suggested that there would be almost no opposition voices in the Duma at all, with three other parties that usually toe the Kremlin line, as well as the New People party, which was founded last year and is widely regarded as a Kremlin-sponsored project, set to take many of the remaining seats.
According to Pamfilova, candidates from three other parties each gained a seat, giving the Duma a total of eight political parties. Pamfilova reported a 51.68 percent voter turnout.
The Communist Party received 19% of the party-list vote, a significant increase over the 13% it received in the last election in 2016. United Russia had around 54% support five years ago, hence the figures show a decline in popularity.
However, suspicions that the results had been tampered with grew on Monday, with many criticizing the lack of public access to a breakdown of the online voting in Moscow. The outcomes are in. This is a condensed version of the information.