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

 

Timor-Leste: UN Agencies Support Response In Wake Of Deadly Floods

United Nations agencies in Timor-Leste are supporting response efforts, as floods and landslides left widespread damage across the country, including in the capital, Dili. According to media reports, at least 21 people died in the country and many ... More>>

Myanmar: Stop ‘Widespread Violence’ Against Children, UN Officials Urge

Senior United Nations officials on Thursday strongly condemned the ongoing violence by Myanmar’s security forces against civilians, including children, as the members of the Security Council expressed alarm at the rapidly deteriorating situation in ... More>>

COVID-19 Origins Report Inconclusive: We Must ‘Leave No Stone Unturned’ – WHO Chief

The report from a team of international scientists assembled by the World Health Organization (WHO) to examine how COVID-19 first spread to humans was published on Tuesday, and was described by the UN health agency’s chief as a welcome start, ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


Department Of Global Communications: UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ Message For World Health Day 2021

5 APRIL 2021 As COVID-19 Reveals Immoral Inequities in Health System, Secretary-General Observance Message Calls for Applying Policies, Assigning Resources to Ensure Everyone Thrives Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for World ... More>>


Global Development: Responding To COVID-19 Pandemic, Young People Advocate For Bold Solutions

From climate action to addressing inequalities and building peace, youth leaders scale up efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals 7 to 8 April 2021 Follow on UN Web TV Youth leaders, activists and youth-led organizations around the world ... More>>

SDG Action Awards: Winners Announced

Mobilizing, inspiring, and connecting individuals around the globe to #TurnItAround for people and planet Bonn, Germany, 25 March - The 2020 SDG Action Awards Ceremony, which took place on 25 March as a part of the fifth SDG Global Festival of Action ... More>>