Pundits Say Russian Vote Results Signal Protest, Not Real Change

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(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Matthew Luxmoore – September 25, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/pundits-say-russian-vote-results-signal-protest-not-real-change/29509181.html) As exit polls from the Khaborovsk region’s gubernatorial runoff pointed to a landslide victory for Sergei Furgal, the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) candidate was asked what swayed the September 23 vote. “People are tired,” he replied to […]

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RUSSIALINK: “United Russia pledges interaction with new governors of Khabarovsk Territory, Vladimir region” – Interfax

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MOSCOW. Sept 24 (Interfax) – The ruling party is ready for the constructive interaction with the new governors of the Khabarovsk Territory and the Vladimir region, according to United Russia General Council Secretary Andrei Turchak. “The party is ready for the constructive interaction with the elected heads of the Khabarovsk Territory and the Vladimir region if people and regions benefit […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia is throwing out suspicious gubernatorial election results in Primorsky Krai” – Meduza

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“Russia’s Central Election Commission is urging regional election officials in the Primorsky Krai to invalidate the results of last Sunday’s runoff gubernatorial election. Commissioner Ella Pamfilova justified the recommendation on the grounds that it is impossible to determine the race’s outcome reliably because of significant violations at multiple polling stations. … the commission’s ‘recommendation’ is more like a direct order, […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Meeting with elected regional governors” – KremlinRu

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(Kremlin.ru – Sept. 18, 2019) Vladimir Putin met at the Kremlin with the newly elected governors of the regions of the Russian Federation. The President congratulated the governors on their victories in the elections -in the first round – during the unified voting day on September 9 and asked the elected regional governors to begin their work as soon as […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s CEC wishes to investigate violations regardless of ranks of those who organized Primorye electoral fraud” – Interfax

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

MOSCOW. Sept 19 (Interfax) – The chair of Russia’s Central Elections Commission (CEC), Ella Pamfilova, has revealed that CEC members are shocked at the extent of electoral law violations committed during the second round of the gubernatorial polls in Primorye, adding that a probe will be held “without respect of those who organized the election rigging”. “This is the case […]

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Tension Builds In Russian Far East Region After Disputed Vote Count

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(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – August 14, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/tension-builds-in-russian-far-east-region-after-disputed-vote-count/29495661.html) Rival contenders for the governorship in a Russian Pacific region girded for court battles, and more protests, after an unusual last-minute vote count in a runoff election gave victory to the ruling party incumbent. Supporters of Russia’s Communist Party have cried foul […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia: Runoffs in Four Regional Races Reveal the Kremlin’s Vulnerability” [Excerpt] – Stratfor

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“… Putin … in his fourth and perhaps final term as Russia’s president, faced a key political test in regional elections …. though the ruling party, United Russia, won most of the races – which included gubernatorial elections in 22 regions, legislative elections in 16 regions and a mayoral election in Moscow – it faced stiffer competition and more unrest […]

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NEWSLINK: “Did Russia’s ruling political party really lose Sunday’s regional elections? No, but there is one place it’s no longer in control” – Meduza

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“Did United Russia blow the September 9 elections? It depends on how you look at it. Yes, United Russia failed to win 50 percent on party lists in 11 out of 16 races for regional legislative assemblies. But it lost in only three regions, narrowly and always to the Communists: Irkutsk United Russia: 27.8 percent Russia’s Communist Party: 34 percent […]

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Governors Back Moscow’s Pension Plan but Seek Exemptions for Their Own People

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(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 16, 2018) Caught between the demands of the Kremlin which decides whether they will be in office and the opposing views of their populations that could make their time there easy or difficult, Russia’s governors are simultaneously telling Moscow they support the pension plan but asking it to exempt their own […]

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Belykh case reveals flaw of Russian law enforcement: lack of mercy for the ill – Kudrin

Nikita Belykh file photo

MOSCOW. Feb 2 (Interfax) – The case of Nikita Belykh, the former governor of the Kirov region, who has been sentenced to eight years in jail, is a manifestation of the absence of mercy for sick people, Russia’s former finance minister, Alexei Kudrin, said. “Among other things, the Belykh case revealed the most anti-humane flaw of our law enforcement system: […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Meeting with Chairperson of the Central Election Commission Ella Pamfilova” – KremlinRu

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(Kremlin.ru – October 9, 2017) Vladimir Putin had a working meeting with Chairperson of the Central Election Commission Ella Pamfilova, who informed the President of the outcomes of elections that took place on the unified voting day, September 10, 2017. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ms Pamfilova, could you share your assessment of the outcomes of the unified voting day? […]

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Interfax: Kremlin calls wave of governors’ dismissals ‘rotation process’

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

MOSCOW. Oct 2 (Interfax) – Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov has connected the appearance of a large amount of information about dismissals of governors to a rotation period. “No doubt, there is a process of rotation taking place in the body of governors now. Naturally, this leads to a huge amount of information flows,” Peskov said, when asked about […]

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Putin Moving to Depoliticize Entire Russian System, Stanovaya Says

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(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, February 21, 2017) Vladimir Putin’s installation of technocrats as governors in place of politicians is likely to have an impact on the country’s systemic parties, leading to their de-politicization as well by means of the replacement of the aging politicians who head them now by younger pragmatic functionaries, according to Tatyana Stanovaya. […]

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Election Shifts Show Kremlin Wary Of Fallout From Recession

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

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, June 1, 2015) The Kremlin is moving to bring next year’s parliamentary elections forward and set up snap gubernatorial votes in several provinces this year, maneuvering that analysts say shows the authorities fear a deepening recession could weaken them and galvanize the opposition. The State Duma elections in December 2011 catalyzed the […]

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New Report Names and Shames Russia’s Worst Regional Governors

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – March 30, 2015) A Kremlin-linked think-tank released a rating of Russia’s regional governors on Monday that names the head of the Leningrad region, which surrounds St. Petersburg, as the most effective manager and the head of the Sverdlovsk region in the Ural Mountains as the least effective. The rating, which was conducted […]

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Why are there so many presidents in Russia? Russia’s complicated administrative division explained.

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Marina Obrazkova, RBTH – January 9, 2014) Russia’s regional administrative division is complicated. There are regions, territories, republics, and federal districts. All these are formally equal under the constitution, but in reality there are considerable differences. Experts say this complex state administration system is a legacy of the Russian Empire and the Soviet […]

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MEDIA ANNOUNCEMENT: Governors and Mayors

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

Subject: No. 139:  Governors and Mayors Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2013 From: “Russian Analytical Digest (RAD)” <newslist@isn.ch> RUSSIAN ANALYTICAL DIGEST Newsletter 18 November 2013/No. 139 GOVERNORS AND MAYORS To download this issue please click here: http://www.css.ethz.ch/publications/DetailansichtPubDB_EN?rec_id=2781 Analyses Dynamics of Regional Inequality in the Russian Federation: Circular and Cumulative Causality, by David Lane, Cambridge The Revival of Russia’s Gubernatorial Elections: Liberalization […]

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Interfax: Putin: direct gubernatorial elections a key political trend but specific features of regions must be taken into account

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MOSCOW. Nov 20 (Interfax) – Direct elections of governors will remain a key provision of the Russian electoral system, President Vladimir Putin President Vladimir Putin has said. “The right of voters to elect the heads of regions is the main political trend. We will undoubtedly follow it,” he said at a Wednesday meeting with the leaders of nonparliamentary parties in […]

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Putin Makes Local Governors Responsible for Ethnic Relations

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UFA, October 22 (RIA Novosti) ­ President Vladimir Putin signed a law Tuesday giving local authorities more responsibility for handling relations between ethnic communities in a sign the government is growing nervous at evidence of a surge in nationalist-tinged discontent. Speaking at the Interethnic Relations Council in the Urals town of Ufa, Putin lashed out at local governments for what […]

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Kremlin source denies claims of governors’ upcoming dismissals

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Interfax – MOSCOW, October 18, 2013) A Kremlin source has denied reports claiming that a number of regional governors may be relieved of their posts ahead of time. “These absurd claims are not even worth commenting on. This newspaper article uses some artificially formed agenda, not real facts,” the source told Interfax on Friday. The Izvestia newspaper said, citing its […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with elected Russian regional leaders

Putin Descending a Staircase file photo

(Kremlin.ru – Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region, September 10, 2013) Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting with heads of Russian regions voted in during regional elections held on the single election day. PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Dear colleagues, good afternoon, Voting has closed and you have won your elections; naturally I must congratulate you on your victory and wish you success. I […]

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RIA Novosti: Putin Urges Governors to Strengthen Relations With Opponents

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(RIA Novosti – NOVO-OGARYOVO – Moscow Region, September 10, 2013) ­ Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday called on newly elected heads of Russian regions to get in contact with their former opponents and use their proposals. “I am urging you to build relationships not only with your support groups but with all your opponents as well, bearing in mind […]

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Moscow Region Election Plays by Harder Rules

File Photo of Gennady Gudkov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – July 30, 2013) In the shadow of a much more publicized mayoral election in the capital, the upcoming gubernatorial election in the Moscow region offers a decidedly different set of campaign issues, people’s demands and opposition activity. Unlike in Moscow, residents of the region that is often separated from the city by […]

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Experts Say Upcoming Elections More Competitive

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(Moscow TImes – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – July 26, 2013) The upcoming Sept. 8 regional elections across Russia will be more competitive than the previous ones, amid declining public support for the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, experts say. Despite compounded bureaucratic obstacles for the registration of candidates, ongoing regional election campaigns show an increased outflow of candidates from the […]

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Former Tula Governor Sentenced to 9 1/2 Years

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – July 23, 2013) Former Tula Governor Vyacheslav Dudka will spend nearly 9 1/2 years in a high-security prison in what marks the first time a former governor has received such a harsh sentence in modern Russia. Dudka was sentenced by a local court Monday for accepting 40 million rubles ($1.3 million) in […]

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Russian President Decrees Changes To Gubernatorial Candidate Nomination Rules

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, July 11, 2013) Parties represented in the State Duma and (regional) legislative assemblies, rather than just the victorious party in regional elections, will have the right to nominate gubernatorial candidates to the president in the regions that have decided not to hold direct elections (for regional governors), says the president’s degree published on the official portal […]

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The incompetent many or the corrupt few?

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(opendemocracy.net – Grigorii Golosov – May 20, 2013) Grigorii Golosov is Professor of Political Science, Project Director, Center for Democracy and Human Rights Helix, St. Petersburg Recent protest rallies and continuing opposition sentiment have provoked the Kremlin into reform.  The first part of the process sees the partial return of regional governor elections, abandoned nine years ago in favour of […]

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Most Russian Regions to Opt for Governor Polls – Putin

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(RIA Novosti – BOCHAROV RUCHEI (Sochi), May 16, 2013) Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that the majority of Russian regions is likely to choose their leaders by direct popular vote. The return of direct gubernatorial elections, scrapped in 2005, was signed into law last year in the aftermath of a wave of anti-Kremlin protests. Earlier this year, Putin […]

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Putin Signs Law Allowing Regions to Cancel Governor Polls

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

MOSCOW, April 2 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday signed a law that allows regions to decide whether they want to elect a governor by a direct popular vote or let regional legislatures choose them from nominees approved by the president. The State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian parliament whose members initiated the bill, passed […]

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Russian Duma Backtracks on Direct Regional Elections

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(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 10, Issue 25 – Richard Arnold – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – February 11, 2013) United Russia brought a bill before the Duma for a first reading on January 23, 2013, that would permit regional legislatures to cancel direct gubernatorial elections for the “multi-ethnic” regions of Russia. Instead, parties in regional legislatures would pick three candidates […]

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Belykh’s dismissal as Kirov governor still under consideration – newspaper

Nikita Belykh file photo

(Interfax – February 7, 2013) Despite the fact that members of the Kirov regional Legislative Assembly have dropped the idea of holding a vote of no confidence in Governor Nikita Belykh, his possible dismissal is still under consideration, Vedomosti reported on Thursday. “The issue of Belykh’s dismissal has not been removed from the agenda, and it is still quite likely,” […]

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Moscow likely behind Kirov lawmakers’ idea of no confidence in Governor Belykh – analysts

Nikita Belykh file photo

MOSCOW. Feb 5 (Interfax) – Political analysts believe the intention of a group of members of the Kirov regional legislature to express no confidence in Governor Nikita Belykh has been endorsed by some influential political forces both in the region and in Moscow. “Mr. Belykh is not very popular with the local elites and is perceived as an outsider. Perhaps […]

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Belykh Faces Ouster by Regional Lawmakers

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – February 6, 2013) Nikita Belykh, the liberal governor of the Kirov region and a former opposition leader, is facing a new wave of pressure from opponents after 19 regional lawmakers announced their intent to put forward a no-confidence vote against him. Investigators raided Belykh’s office last week in connection with the alleged […]

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United Russia proposes bill allowing regions to forgo direct gubernatorial elections

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – www.rbth.ru – Yulia Ponomareva, Combined report – January 31, 2013) Nine months after popular gubernatorial elections were re-introduced on the initiative of former President Dmitry Medvedev, a 90 percent majority in the Russian Duma votes “yes” on a bill that gives regional legislatures the right to scrap them. President Putin believes the measure could prevent […]

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Bill Seeks to End Election of Governors

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Bratersky – December 19, 2012) A bill that could once again abolish direct gubernatorial elections, which were reinstated this year, was submitted to the State Duma on Tuesday by members of the majority United Russia party. Popular elections of governors were discontinued following the Beslan school hostage crisis in 2004, when Vladimir Putin, early […]

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