RUSSIALINK: “Abandoning United Russia Is the Road to Nowhere for the Kremlin” – Carnegie Moscow/ Andrey Pertsev (Kommersant)

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“…. The disgruntled public ask global questions: Why is the retirement age being raised? Why are prices and utility bills increasing, while salaries are not? Is it worth spending so much on Syria, Venezuela, and the arms race? Independent candidates running for governor or regional legislator can answer them easily by saying, ‘That’s a federal issue for which I’m not responsible, but I’ll try to solve local problems.’ As a result, all grievances are automatically redirected to the Kremlin. File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev with United Russia Logos Behind HimUnited Russia’s declining ratings are increasingly forcing the presidential administration and regional authorities to abandon affiliation to the ruling political party during elections. Six out of sixteen regions holding gubernatorial elections this September will allow independents to run, to accommodate acting governors who don’t want to be affiliated with a political party during the campaign. Meanwhile, nearly half of the regions electing regional legislatures will have aFile Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing greater share of single-member district seats, which will also make more independent campaigns possible. …”

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