World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Big Win Expected For Putin In Parliamentary Vote


By Peter Fedynsky
Moscow

Big Win Expected for Putin as Russians Vote in Parliamentary Election

Russians are voting in a parliamentary election in which President Vladimir Putin leads the list of the ruling United Russia Party, though he is not a candidate. Mr. Putin's name on the ballot could explain pressure for a high voter turnout.

Polls opened in each of Russia's 11 time zones at eight in the morning, staying open until eight in the evening. First to cast ballots were residents of Chukhotka, across the Bering Sea from Alaska.

The Interfax News Agency reports voter turnout in the region at nearly 77 percent. Neighboring Kamchatka is reported at nearly 54 percent.

Within two hours after voting began in Moscow and before it finished in most of the country, Russian election officials and the national news media reported a turnout twice as high as the previous election, based on midday volume.

A get-out-the-vote campaign was conducted via television and billboard advertising. Opposition sources also reported many voters faced workplace pressure to cast ballots in favor of United Russia.

Analysts say it is important for the party to get at least a 60 percent voter turnout to allow President Putin to claim popular support. Although he is not a candidate, Mr. Putin said United Russia should influence all levels of Russian government.

At election precinct number 2717 in Moscow, like at many of Russia's 95,000 polling stations, voters were greeted to a festive atmosphere - music, food, and an impromptu bazaar of household items.

Antonina Kalistratovna, 79, entered the precinct to cast her ballot for Vladimir Putin's party, but says she did not know exactly why.

Kalistratova says everybody recommends voting for Putin. "We like anybody," she notes, "as long as they help us and do not abandon us."

Ilya, a 23-year-old medical student cast his ballot for the communists, who promise to improve social benefits.

Ilya says he read the Communist Party program, which convinced him that it offers the most equitable social policy.

Sunday's election was organized under two significant rule changes. Unlike previous elections, voters no longer cast ballots for individual candidates, but rather for political parties whose members determine the composition of parliament. The second rule requires a party to gain seven percent of the vote for parliamentary representation.

Under the new threshold, public opinion polls indicate only two of the 11 participating parties are assured seats in the new parliament - United Russia with an overwhelming majority, and the Communist Party. Two others with a chance are both Kremlin-friendly - the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party and A Just Russia.

United Russia is the only party to have had permission for a media campaign on national television, which opposition activists say gave the ruling party an unfair advantage.

Voting in many precincts is now conducted with paper ballots scanned into computers. The vote count begins as soon a polls close, however a final tally is not expected until December 16.

ENDS

More: Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

ALSO:

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC