Ruling party dominates Russian elections after Navalny’s crackdown

Newsletter: Europe Express

Russia’s ruling pro-Kremlin party is set to update its majority as follows: Parliamentary elections Following a campaign marked by a crackdown on supporters of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny, we will conclude on Sunday.

The United Russian Party, which supports President Vladimir Putin, has been on track to win a majority in the 450-seat House of Representatives, election officials said after 20 percent of the votes were counted. According to Russian state news agency TASS, turnout was about 45%, one of the lowest totals ever.

Exit polls show that United Russia has won 45% of the votes, saying the party is sufficient to maintain its majority.

The Kremlin sought to bring an overwhelming victory to the party in its final vote before Putin’s current presidential term expired in 2024. Disguise general anger at a decline in living standards.

According to exit polls, the largest of the normally obedient official opposition parties was set to win 21% of the votes. That’s almost double the total from the last election in 2016.

Putin, 68, is much more popular than United Russia, but maintaining a majority of the party is the key to the Kremlin’s passing the agenda. For voting.

Dozens of opposition candidates were struck from ballots — some of them over their relationship with Navalny.Some successful accused the Kremlin of running a spoiler candidate With almost the same name — And in at least one case, Appearance — split the protest vote.

The Kremlin has moved to Crush Navalny’s “smart voting” campaign using an internet app Direct dissatisfied voters to one of the voted Kremlin-run opposition.Apple and google NS Navalny’s app from the store on Friday after Russia threatened to arrest an employee.

Navalny staff chief Leonid Volkov claims that voters in 12 of Moscow’s 15 constituencies and in all eight St. Petersburg districts supported the candidates recommended by the “Smart Voting” app. Did.

For several months before voting Russia banned Navalny’s foundationHe urged most of his most prominent allies to leave the country and designated several independent media and NGOs as “foreign agents.”

The Kremlin justified the crackdown as necessary to prevent foreign interference in the elections.

As part of its campaign strategy, the Kremlin was trying to drive its supporters into polls, lowering the turnout of opponents. Through a mixture of despicableness and coercion..

When voting began on Friday, huge lines were formed outside several polling stations, telling Russian media that they were civil servants forced to vote at work.

Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of political consultant R. Politik, said: “they [the Kremlin] You need to do as much as you can, using all kinds of techniques to get those people to vote. ”

Election observers posted surveillance camera footage from polling stations on social media, showing obvious violations. They include a hand that emerged from behind the Russian flag in the Siberian city of Kemerovo to stuff the ballot box, a pre-filled vote for United States Russia in Moscow, and a vote purchase in the Far East region. Was included.

Goros, an independent election observer Declared “Last month’s foreign agent” He said he had recorded 4,525 possible violations at the polling place. However, officials said none of the tampering could have affected the whole thing.

Ruling party dominates Russian elections after Navalny’s crackdown

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