The one-party system: The results of elections to Russian State Duma

Author : Serhiy Zvyglianych

Source :

Elections in Russia have established a de facto one-party system at the State Duma - "United Russia" will have about 340 seats, which is a constitutional majority
23:30, 20 September 2016

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In Russia took place elections to the State Duma. There was no surprise - the pro-presidential "United Russia" won. By and large, with this we could finish our summing-up. But there are some nuances that are worth to note.

The Kremlin did everything to make these elections look visually more free and fair than earlier. And it should be noted that this time there will be no protest on Bolotnaya square. There are two reasons for this - the widespread apathy and Vladimir Putin's popularity. Do not look at the statement of the leader of Communist Party Gennady Zyuganov that the supporters of the party intend to hold a series of actions on the results of elections to the State Duma - this doesn’t mean the call for protests. Just Zyuganov always criticizes the government, after the elections too, and that does not interfere him after each election to personally sit in Parliament by approving the policy of the Kremlin.

Two other "opposition" parties in the State Duma - the Liberal Democratic Party and the "Fair Russia" - recognized the elections. “For the party" Fair Russia "there is no reason to doubt the results," - said the party leader Sergei Mironov. "Of course, we recognize these elections and evaluate it positive" - echoes Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

But, in spite of the democratic screen, these elections can be considered as a step back for democracy in Russia. And for this we also have two reasons.

Related: Ukraine doesn’t recognize parliamentary elections in Russia

First, elections in Russia have established a de facto one-party system at the State Duma. After counting 90% of the votes it is known that the "United Russia" will receive 343 mandates of the 450! That is, the constitutional majority, and with a large margin. In the previous convocation United Russia had 238 mandates. Why the president's party rating is barreling down for a few months, and at the output we have a radical improvement in the results? The first reason is a change in the electoral system. An important rule - if you lose power over parliament, immediately introduce the majority system - Kremlin has learned. In Ukraine, this system is "successfully" running, the business groups in Parliament for any money are not intend to change the electoral system which ensures they get into parliament. Now this system is successfully operating in Russia.

Secondly, the official result of "United Russia" and the results of the surveys vary considerably, which suggests the idea of possible falsification of the results. The Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) predicted for United Russia on September, 11 -  41% of the vote. Exit poll on the voting day showed 44.5% of the vote. And CEC after processing 90% of vote gave to United Russia 54%! The difference in percentage points 10 - it is very much to be attributed to error. Due to what has grown up the party’s indicator when compared with the results of exit poll? Due to all things a little bit. On a couple of percent less appeared in the Communist Party, the Liberal Democratic Party, "Fair Russia" and other participants.

Related: Ukraine’s Parliament to call on world not to recognize Russia State Duma elections

But who does not want to go into the past – that’s the Russian Communists. They seem to be eternal as eternal is their leader Gennady Zyuganov. Yes, there is a drop in the rankings compared to the previous elections (it was 20.5%, and became 13.5%), there is a decrease in the number of deputies more than doubled (from 92 to 42), but it is the second most popular party in the country.

You can not skip the results of voting in Chechnya, where there is always something "interesting". "United Russia" won 96.3% of the vote there, and Ramzan Kadyrov received about 97%. Stability – is a characteristic feature of this region.

What it will look like the Russian parliament of the 7 convocation? The same as in the sixth - pro-presidential. All the parties that got there support Putin's policies. "The Russians have voted, but they know that all leads by the President, and Parliament became merely a puppet of the Kremlin", - says BBC television correspondent Steve Rosenberg.

However, if the Kremlin managed to avoid internal scandals during the election, then in the international arena a huge scandal could start. A number of countries led by the United States said they did not recognize the elections in Crimea. Ukraine and the international community consider this peninsula Ukrainian, which means that the Russian Federation could not hold elections there. But, of course, the Russian authorities did not cancel the vote, and therefore a seriously question arose of the State Duma legitimacy. On this issue we are waiting for some more discussions.

Related: Canada does not recognize elections in Russian-occupied Crimea

Related: Sweden does not recognize elections to State Duma in Crimea

Related: US does not intend to recognize results of elections in occupied Crimea, - State Department

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