Putin’s Party Loses Almost Half Of Its Seats At Moscow Local Elections | Politics

BERLIN, GERMANY – OCTOBER 19: Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting to discuss the Ukrainian peace process at the German federal Chancellery on October 19, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany, known as the Normandy Four, met in Berlin to discuss implementation of the peace plan known as the Minsk Protocol, a roadmap for resolving the conflict in Ukraine after Russian forces invaded in 2014 and annexed the peninsula of Crimea. The United States has threatened renewed sanctions on Russia if the country did not either implement the plan in the coming months or arrive at a plan on how to do so. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)


Vladimir Putin and his political party United Russia have suffered big losses at local elections in Moscow. The party remains the most popular party in the capital, but has lost almost half of the seats, slashed from 40 to 25. The majority of the other seats will be shared by the Communist Party (14 seats) and Just Russia (4 seats).


These elections followed a summer of protests in the Russian capital in favour of Alexei Navalny, the opposition leader, whose candidates were not allowed to take part to elections. Alexei’s party would have probably obtained nine seats and this is why his participation in elections has been prevented.


Despite his exclusion, which probably caused the low voter turnout (only 5% at midday), Navalny committed to promoting United Russia’s strongest challengers, inviting people to cast their vote for them.


The decreasing number of seats of Putin’s party can be also linked to Moscow social situation. More than the hard political repression, it is the increasing poverty that made United Russia so unpopular, that all the candidates ran as nominal “independents” in an attempt to distance themselves from their party.


Putin must find a quick solution to this problem, since waves of protests are getting stronger and political repression doesn’t seem an effective answer anymore.



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