Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Follow up on Sochi election

Watch for results soon.

Democracy, the Kremlin Way

"Voters in Sochi will cast ballots Sunday in one of the highest-profile local elections to be held in Russia in years, a contest that President Dmitry Medvedev recently described as "good for democracy" but that critics have condemned as a showcase for the Kremlin's usual dirty tricks.

"Six candidates remain in the mayoral race out of the 25 who originally expressed interest. Seven were struck from the ballot because of alleged errors in their registration forms, and others said they were pressured into quitting.

"Only one candidate has been able to run a real campaign -- Anatoly Pakhomov, the incumbent and nominee of the ruling United Russia party...

"Analysts said the only significant gesture the Kremlin has made toward allowing real competition in the race was the decision to let Nemtsov, a prominent Putin critic, stay on the ballot...

"Nemtsov, a Sochi native, said the authorities have detained his campaign workers, seized his leaflets and prevented him from renting facilities for events. Last month, unidentified assailants threw ammonia in his face outside his campaign headquarters; he says they were activists from the pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi.

"Local media have refused to accept advertising from any of the opposition candidates or cover their campaign events...

"The opposition has sought to make a stand in municipal elections in part because other options have been closed. The Kremlin abolished gubernatorial contests in 2004, and it exercises tight control over presidential and parliamentary elections..."

What You Need to Know -- a study guide for AP Comparative Government and Politics

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At 8:16 AM, Blogger Ken Wedding said...

Kremlin’s Candidate Headed to Victory in Sochi "The Kremlin-backed candidate for mayor of Sochi, Anatoly N. Pakhomov, appeared to have won a landslide victory in Sunday’s election, amid opposition protests that local officials had fixed the race.

"With 53 percent of the votes counted by early Monday, Mr. Pakhomov had 77 percent of the vote, said Valentina V. Tkacheva, secretary of Sochi’s election commission.

"His rival from the anti-Kremlin Solidarity movement, Boris Y. Nemtsov, was running second, with 14 percent, and the Communist candidate, Yuri V. Dzaganiya, was third, with 7 percent..."

At 7:57 AM, Blogger Ken Wedding said...

Fraud Alleged in Russian Election"The Kremlin favorite won an overwhelming victory in the mayoral election in Sochi, the Russian city hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics, an election official said Monday. Meanwhile, an opposition candidate called the vote a fraud and vowed to challenge the result.

"With all the ballots counted, acting Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov had 76.8 percent of the vote, Sochi elections commission spokeswoman Valentina Tkachyova said. Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov was a distant second with 13.6 percent.

"Nemtsov accused the authorities of pressuring state workers to vote for Pakhomov, the candidate from Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's United Russia party...

"Nemtsov claimed on his Web site Monday that exit polls conducted by his campaign showed he received 35 percent of the vote, with Pakhomov winning 46 percent. If that was the case, then a runoff should have ensued, as neither reached 50 percent..."


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