September 18, 2016
Russian Democracy Unlikely To Loosen Putin’s Grip On Power
Russia voted in their parliamentary elections on Sunday and things felt like business as usual for Putin’s team. In an exit poll by state-run polling organization VTsIOM, President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party led with 44.5% of the vote, with the nationalist LDPR coming in second place with only 15.3%. The Communist Party collected a paltry 14.9% of the vote and probably could have done better in the US elections at this point.
The lack of surprises in this election could be due to the notably low turnout in big cities. In Moscow, only 28% of voters cast their ballots, compared to over 50% in the previous election five years ago. Back in 2011, there were protests and accusations of voter fraud, but it looks like the opposition is burnt out. The low voter turnout suggests all of Putin’s opponents simply sat this one out.
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