Poll: Over 35% of Russians believe voting in upcoming elections is useless

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Experts explain that many voters do not believe that their votes will be counted honestly, do not see any differences between the parties and do not consider the parliament an influential body. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – YEKATERINA CHULKOVSKAYA, RBTH – July 14, 2016) A few months before the parliamentary elections in Russia, which will take place on […]

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Large Parties Expected to Dominate Duma Election – Report

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 14, 2016) The next State Duma could be made of three political parties instead of four, with smaller opposition parties winning no seats at all, a new report by the Russian Association of Public Relations (RASO) announced Wednesday. The ruling United Russia party and larger, systemic, opposition parties, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) and […]

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Third of Russians Expect Rigged 2016 Duma Elections

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 1, 2016) More than a third of Russians believe that the upcoming State Duma elections will not be free and fair, a survey by independent pollster Levada Center revealed Friday. Thirty eight percent of the 1600 respondents believed that the elections would involve slander, pressure on the electorate, ballot tampering, or other forms of […]

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Here’s What Putin Wants From Central Bank as Elections Near

Central Bank of Russia file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anna Andrianova, Andre Tartar – July 5, 2016) Helping your president win elections doesn’t have to compromise a central bank’s independence, at least not in Russia. Monetary policy is aligning with politics before Vladimir Putin’s biggest test at the ballot box since he returned to the presidency in 2012. By claiming the upper hand in the […]

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Russian ruling party confirms Duma election candidates

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(RIA Novosti – June 27, 2016) A United Russia congress on 27 June approved the ruling party’s candidates and manifesto for the State Duma election in September, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported. Lists of candidates Half of the 450 seats in the new Duma will be elected by proportional representation and the other half by a majority vote […]

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Russian State Duma Election Season Begins

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 20, 2016) Campaign season for the upcoming Russian State Duma elections kicks off this week, with the country’s main political parties preparing for their vital 2016 conventions and candidate nominations. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Friday that elections would be taking place on September 18. Russian law requires that between 90 to 110 days […]

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United Russia: Same Game, New Tactics

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ola CichowlasJ – June 16, 2016) By June 19, President Vladimir Putin is expected to sign a decree that will officially kick-start the campaign season. Within a few days, all the parties taking part in the election will host conventions and declare their list of candidates. These State Duma elections will be the first time […]

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Putin’s Core Support Begins to Waver; Working-class Russians hurt by recession look for someone to blame-in an election year

Kremlin and River

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Ragozin – June 9, 2016) Russia embarks on an almost two-year-long election season this summer that ends with a presidential contest in 2018. But unlike previous years, the country’s faltering economy has taken its toll on lower-income voters who blame the Duma and the cabinet for their plight. Five years ago, allegations of vote rigging […]

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Russian Election Commission Head Says ‘No One Is Untouchable’ on Violations

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 6, 2016) The head of Russia’s Central Election Commission, Ella Pamfilova, said that an interdepartmental working group is being set up to quickly react to election violations, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta government daily reported Monday. The working group will include representatives of the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Interior Ministry and the Investigative Committee, Pamfilova said […]

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NEWSWATCH: “United Russia Primaries Open Pandora’s Box” – Carnegie Moscow Center/Andrey Pertsev

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The primaries have once again highlighted the Kremlin’s domestic policy tactics. First, the administration announces a large project, makes promises, and even begins to deliver on them. Then, fears of failure and loss of control set in, and all work grinds to a halt. * * * The primaries join a raft of domestic policy gimmicks the Kremlin has used […]

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Many Fear Real Elections Will Bring Fascism to Russia But Their Absence Helps It Rise, Piontkovsky Says

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(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, May 21, 2016) Both before the 1917 revolution and since 1991, Russian liberals and their foreign backers have often feared that genuine elections, ones in which the outcome was not determined by those in power who supposedly were committed to reform might lead either to a return to communism or the rise […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Liberals in the Crosshairs: The Russian opposition’s troubles are only beginning.” – The National Interest/Maria Snegovaya

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

As Russia approaches parliamentary elections scheduled in September 2016, the prospects for Russia’s so-called nonsystem liberal opposition look increasingly gloomy. Not only have democratic opposition leaders failed to create a unified coalition yet again, as in essentially every previous election – a failure that will likely diminish their already limited chances to win seats in Russia’s federal and regional parliaments […]

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NEWSLINK Russia Direct: “Divide in the Russian opposition, the return of Alexey Kudrin, and a new controversy in Crimea. Media Roundup: Russia’s journalists covered the comeback of former finance minister Alexey Kudrin and the split within the Russian opposition ahead of the 2016 parliamentary elections.”

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Interfax: Putin views fair competition during parliamentary election as basis for building confidence in authorities among citizens

Russian State Duma Building file photo

ST PETERSBURG. April 29 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has reaffirmed that the State Duma election to be held this autumn must be characterized by a fair and competitive campaign. “You understand perfectly that it is of the utmost importance for this campaign to be spared violations and proceed in an absolutely competitive and fair contest,” Putin said at […]

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NEWSWATCH: “New Russian Security Force Will Answer to Vladimir Putin. The Russian Guard is being formed ahead of coming parliamentary elections.” – Wall Street Journal

Vladimir Putin

The Kremlin is creating a new internal security force that answers directly to … Putin, ahead of parliamentary elections. … the new force … the Russian Guard, will be headed by Viktor Zolotov, who served as Mr. Putin’s personal bodyguard for 13 years. … Putin directed the creation of the force … through an executive order … under review by […]

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On My Mind [re: Kudrin and Pamfilova]

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(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – April 21, 2016) You have to wonder what drives people like Aleksei Kudrin and Ella Pamfilova. Both were in the news this week. Kudrin accepted an offer to chair the Kremlin’s top economics think tank, the Center for Strategic Reform, and called for a fundamental restructuring of Russia’s economy and political system. And […]

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Russian veteran opposition politician discusses policy, presidential ambitions

Grigoriy Yavlinskiy file photo

(Interfax – March 4, 2016) Interfax journalists Vasiliy Antipin and Andrey Novikov interview with Yabloko leader Grigoriy Yavlinskiy: “Grigoriy Yavlinskiy: I will win elections from Putin; Yabloko founder has decided to return to big-league politics and describes his plans and his associates’ plans” Moscow, 4 March: Grigoriy Yavlinskiy has decided to return to big-league politics. Yabloko’s founder plans to fight […]

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Legitimized Elections: The Kremlin Plays a New Game

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – March 11, 2016) There was nothing unusual about the weeks running up to the 2009 Moscow City Duma election. United Russia, the party of power, hogged airtime on television and radio. Opposition candidates were routinely barred from running. Municipal workers ripped other parties’ fliers from the city streets. Maria Zheleznova observed the […]

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Putin’s Liberal Enablers

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – The Daily Vertical: Brian Whitmore – March 7, 2016) We soon may be able to add yet another name to the list of Vladimir Putin’s liberal enablers. Speculation is rampant that longtime human rights activist Ella Pamfilova will replace Vladimir Churov as head of the Russian electoral commission. Putin named the widely respected Pamfilova, who is […]

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Yabloko and PARNAS to have separate lists at elections, unified party impossible for technical, political reasons – Yavlinsky

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MOSCOW. March 4 (Interfax) – The Yabloko party founder, Grigory Yavlinsky, believes it is impossible to establish a unified PARNAS-Yabloko party, and the most likely option is to hold talks on separating candidates in single-seat election districts, but, at the same time, keeping two party lists. “We will do all that is possible and necessary. Negotiations are under way today,” […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Public support for Putin to serve another term hits highest level in four years: poll” – Reuters

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

Public support for … Putin to serve another term as president has hit its highest level in four years, a survey by a state-run pollster showed …. Seventy-four percent of Russians would vote to re-elect Putin as president, according to … VTsIOM. Putin dominates state media … and is widely expected to contest the next presidential election in 2018 …. […]

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Putin’s Pre-emptive Strike: Kremlin Moves to Liquidate ‘Foreign Agents’

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Daria Litvinova – February 19, 2015) Activist Pavel Chikov could react only with sarcasm when a court handed down a winding up order against his Agora legal advocacy association. “As the first NGO ever to have been liquidated in a Russian court, we are so proud,” he wrote on Twitter. The next day, another organization, […]

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Russian Politicians Ask Khodorkovsky for Endorsement As Elections Near

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – February 18, 2016) Former oil tycoon turned opposition politician Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s pro-democracy foundation has received dozens of requests from members of Russia’s main political parties to endorse them during an upcoming parliamentary election this fall, the coordinator of Khodorkovsky’s Open Elections project said in comments published Wednesday. The requests that came in […]

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Can Russia’s ruling party restore its reputation ahead of the elections?

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev with United Russia Logos Behind Him

The federal election campaign in 2011 was the least successful to date for United Russia, which saw its reputation tainted by accusations of vote-rigging and fraud. How is Russia’s ruling party preparing for the upcoming elections in 2016 and can it repair its tarnished image among voters? (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – YEKATERINA SINELSCHIKOVA, RBTH – February 11, […]

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Snap Elections Wouldn’t Change Russian Ruling Structure – Poll

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 11, 2016) If elections were held in Russia next weekend, Vladimir Putin would be re-elected president and the same political parties would be elected to the State Duma, the Kommersant newspaper reported Wednesday, citing the results of a recent poll. The survey carried out by the independent Levada Center pollster revealed that 53 percent […]

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Micromanaged Democracy: Russia’s Ruling Party Schools Candidates On Campaigning

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Robert Coalson – February 3, 2016) Elections for Russia’s State Duma, as well as a large number of local contests, are scheduled for September. And the ruling United Russia party wants to make sure its candidates are prepared for any awkward encounters with voters or journalists. The party has created a largely closed section on its […]

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Interfax: Putin has not yet decided whether he will run for president in 2018 – Peskov

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

MOSCOW. Jan 29 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has not decided yet whether he will run for president in 2018, his press officer Dmitry Peskov said. The question as to whether Putin will nominate his candidacy in the upcoming elections arose in connection with the statements about the Russian president made by a White House official, who accused the […]

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Russia May Be Close to a Revolution But Not the One Opposition Hopes For, Sociologist Says

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, December 28, 2015) Given the increasing pessimism among Russians because of declines in their standard of living, Russia may be approaching a revolutionary situation, according to Yekaterina Dobrenkova; but the revolution may not succeed or it may turn out to be very different than the one the opposition hopes for. Earlier this […]

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NEWSWATCH CNBC: “Ex-Russia Fin Min [Kudrin]: We need ‘painful’ structural reforms”

Alexei Kudrin file photo

CNBC covers remarks by former Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, citing the ongoing impact of oil prices while also noting a need for Russian economic reforms, stymied by political considerations. … Kudrin acknowledged the ongoing impact of … commodities … ‘The drop in GDP (gross domestic product) this year mainly has to do with the drop in oil prices – […]

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Moscow Times: Russians Less Keen for Democratic Transfer of Power

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 4, 2015) The number of Russians supporting regular democratic changeovers of political power is at its lowest point in recent history, a poll published Thursday showed, reflecting the popularity of President Vladimir Putin amid the patriotic fervor and increasingly strong rhetoric against foreign enemies surrounding Russian military actions in Ukraine and Syria. Forty-five percent […]

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United Russia primaries candidates must take part in debates – Medvedev

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev with United Russia Logos Behind Him

MOSCOW. Oct 15 (Interfax) – All United Russia primaries candidates must take part in election debates, and it is wrong not to do so, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a joint meeting of the party’s supreme and general councils on Thursday. “The candidates must participate in the debates, maintain a position of their own and be able to […]

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Justice Ministry Refuses to Remove Elections Monitor Golos from ‘Foreign Agents’ List

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 8, 2015) Russia’s Justice Ministry has refused to exclude independent elections watchdog Golos from the list of “foreign agents,” the Vedomosti newspaper reported Wednesday. Golos said on Twitter back in July that the ministry had begun the process of removing it from the list. Ruling that its inclusion was an “error,” the ministry also […]

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NEWSWATCH Reuters: When Kremlin candidate loses election, even voters are surprised.

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Reuters covers a recent Russian regional election in which the ruling United Russia party suffered defeat. When Communist Sergei Levchenko beat the incumbent from President Vladimir Putin’s party to become governor of Irkutsk region in Siberia on Sunday, even the voters who backed him were surprised: the Kremlin doesn’t lose elections. The result is said to raise questions about the […]

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Russia’s Regional Elections Marred by Pressure on Observers, Fraud

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – September 14, 2015) Multiple violations were registered by independent elections watchdogs during Sunday’s regional elections across Russia, and in the most drastic development, the office of an observers’ organization was raided by police who said they had reason to believe it was a murder scene. The Central Elections Commission (CEC) said it […]

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Golos reports numerous electoral violations

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MOSCOW. Sept 14 (Interfax) – The movement Golos, which campaigns for voters’ rights, said in commenting on the outcome of the unified voting day that the elections in Russia had taken place with numerous violations, and that use of administrative technologies had been involved. “Bearing in mind the outcome of the public monitoring of the September 13 elections, we believe […]

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Interfax: United Russia loses four district head elections in Tomsk Region

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TOMSK. Sept 14 (Interfax) – Four United Russia candidates failed to win district head elections in the Tomsk Region, the party’s Tomsk regional secretary Sergei Ilyinykh told an Interfax press conference on Monday. “United Russia candidates won in six districts; independents won in four – Bakchar, Krivosheino, Zyryansky and Alexandrovsky,” he said. There are several reasons why the party’s election […]

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Russian Regions Prepare to Vote After Campaign of Tricks, Complacency

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Daria Litvinova – September 11, 2015) On Sunday, the governors of 21 Russian regions and more than 1,300 heads of small city administrations will be elected, together with deputies for 11 regional parliaments and 25 city legislatures. The nationwide elections, known as unified election day, are considered by some analysts to be a final rehearsal […]

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Poll shows three parties likely to be elected to next Russian parliament

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Interfax – September 3, 2015) With one year to go, half of Russian citizens have said they intend to vote in the next parliamentary election in Russia scheduled for 13 September 2016, according to an opinion poll conducted by Levada Centre. Thirty-one per cent have said they are “very likely” to vote and 19 per cent said they will “definitely” […]

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Running for Office in Siberia: Part IV: History, Perspective and the Components of a Modern Campaign

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Subject: Running for Office in Siberia: Part IV: History, Perspective and the Components of a Modern Campaign Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2015 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> Running for Office in Siberia A series on the District #35 Election for Novosibirsk City Council By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova [Founder, Siberian Civic Initiatives Support Center 1995 – 2014. Helped to establish this as the […]

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Running for Office in Siberia

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Subject: Running for Office in Siberia Part III Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2015 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> Running for Office in Siberia A series on the District #35 Election for Novosibirsk City Council: Part III: Becoming an Official Independent Candidate By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova [Founder, Siberian Civic Initiatives Support Center 1995 – 2014. Helped to establish this as the hub for […]

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Russian Opposition Cornered by Authorities in Regional Election Race

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Daria Litvinova – August 10, 2015) Attempts by the opposition’s Democratic Coalition to take part in upcoming regional elections have been thwarted by local election commissions’ refusal to register its members as candidates, in what analysts say is a concerted effort to nip opposition bids in the bud. The coalition, which consists of opposition firebrand […]

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