Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Local elections in Russia

Watch for the results. (The results will eventually be added as a comment.)

Kremlin Faces Vote Test

"Millions of Russians voted in local elections on Sunday in the first test of the Kremlin's popularity since an economic crisis triggered mass unemployment.

"Opponents accused the United Russia party, headed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, of using dirty tricks in campaigning for some town councils, regional parliaments and mayors to cover up a fall in its popularity.

"United Russia officials, though, dismissed this as political opportunism in the vote which involves about a fifth of all eligible voters in Russia.

"Early reports showed a fall in voter turnout -- one way people can express dissatisfaction -- with Russian news agencies reporting a 10 percentage point drop in two completed city mayoral elections in Russia's Far East...

"A senior official at the regional Communist Party said about 60 to 65 percent of the population supported his party but he said United Russia would try and fix the results.

"Golos, an independent monitoring group, said it had seen people handing out pancakes, lottery tickets and small gifts...

"Neither Putin nor the ally to whom he yielded the presidency last year, Dmitry Medvedev, are directly involved in the polls...

"Opinion polls show support for Putin and Medvedev has fallen since the financial crisis gripped Russia last October, but analysts expect only a small dip in support at the polls...

"United Russia, which dominates the national parliament and holds sway over much of the media, is expected to retain control of the nine regional parliaments, the mayors of the major towns and cities voting and the great bulk of the town and village councils which are up for election in 3,600 separate campaigns.

"There is no voting in Moscow or St Petersburg or in Vladivostok in the Far East which recently saw protests over tariffs on imported Japanese cars that hit the local economy."

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At 8:03 AM, Blogger Ken Wedding said...

Putin’s Party Dominates in Russia’s Regional Polls

"Russia's dominant United Russia party won its first electoral test during the economic crisis, according to provisional results for regional assemblies issued on Monday...

"United Russia, headed by Putin, polled between 49 percent and 79 percent in the nine local assemblies contested, with a large majority of ballots counted, the Central Electoral Commission press service told Reuters.

"The opposition Communist Party came in a distant second place. The pro-Kremlin Liberal Democrats and Fair Russia were also set to win seats in assemblies, though it was not immediately clear who came in third place..."

At 9:24 AM, Blogger Jason George said...

Thanks for the timely post! We are currently studying Russia and I was wondering if there would be an effective way to tie the support for Putin's party with the growing protests over the global financial crisis and its impact on Russia. The International Herald Tribune has a good short video on the topic:
Jason George,
The Bryn Mawr School


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