Putin’s party suffers an electoral setback in Moscow

Putin’s party suffers an electoral setback in Moscow

The main opponent of the Kremlin, Alexei Navalny, had made this election an essential step in the battle against the ruling party, United Russia.

 

The ruling party (United Russia) suffered a heavy defeat on Sunday, September 8, in the Moscow parliamentary elections, losing about one-third of its seats, according to provisional results given by Russian news agencies.

After the counting of almost all the ballots, the candidates supported by the authorities lost in at least 20 of the 45 districts of the capital, after a summer marked by numerous demonstrations by the opposition, which had called for them to be blocked.

Until now, they controlled 38 seats in Parliament.

The communist candidates are the big winners of the election: they would win 13 seats, compared to five previously. The Yabloko liberal party would have three seats, with an independent candidate they supported also winning.

Finally, the fair Russia party, considered to be part of the opposition “tolerated” by the Kremlin, entered the Moscow Parliament with three deputies.

According to the Interfax news agency, nine former deputies of the ruling United Russia party were not re-elected, including the leader of the party’s Moscow branch, Andrei Metelsky, who had been elected since 2001.

The turnout was 21.77%, slightly higher than in the previous local election in 2014.

 

Opponents dismissed

These elections were closely followed after a summer of demonstrations in Moscow due to the rejection of the candidacy of the main opposition figures. The main opponent of the Kremlin, Alexei Navalny, had called for a “smart vote” by supporting those best placed to defeat the candidates affiliated with the government.

The excluded, including many of Navalny’s supporters, accused the authorities of knowingly excluding them from the vote.

With two years to go before the legislative elections, Navalny had made this election an essential stage in the battle against United Russia, which is at its lowest level in more than ten years due to dissatisfaction with the rise in the retirement age and the steady decline in incomes.

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