Putin’s United Russia is losing ground in opinion polls

In 2016, United Russia won the election with 54.2% and dominated the State Duma, according to official results. Even during the 2018 presidential election, about 50% of pre-communist voters had the support. Since then, however, it has been declining – due to the country’s economic woes and painful reforms, such as a two per cent increase in VAT or an extension of the retirement age.

In seven polls in August, the party was below or below 30%. If those who did not go to the polls were excluded from the polls, they would win less than 40%, RT TV reported.

Even so, United Russia could win a majority in the State Duma after the September 17-19 elections, as only half of the 450 seats are elected proportionally, reaching parties with more than 5% support. The other half consists of single-member constituencies elected by a majority. According to the president of the Center for Political Science Boris Makarenko, he could get only one hundred of the relatively elected seats, but from 190 single-member constituencies. However, this will be below the two-thirds threshold of the constitutional majority.

While in the last elections the Crimean issue was a boost for the party, economic injections are now playing a key role. Soldiers and police officers will be improved, who, thanks to the president’s decree, will each receive 15,000 rubles (over 4,000 CZK) each. More than 30 million retirees will then reach 10,000 rubles and the same amount was received by families with students before the start of the school year.

Fear of fraud

In connection with the election, there is a growing fear of fraud, which intensified the incident from one of the polling stations on the outskirts of Moscow, where a local government official came and explained how the election was conducted.

“The most important thing is to be calm and calm,” Novaya Gazeta said in a statement leaked on September 3. He immediately advised how to falsify the votes in order to win a “specific party”.

“We are interested in seeing some data from one side – between 42 and 45%,” he said at the meeting. He added that election commissioners should pass on the details of participation not only to the regional election commission, but also to the party. He also instructed them to support United Russia candidates in single-member constituencies. He stressed that the percentages are not as important as defeating all the opponents.

“The woman was identified as Zanna Prokopyev by Korolyov,” Radio Svoboda reported. “

Putin bets on Shoigu and Lavrov

Former President Dmitry Medvedev, 55, told the 20th Congress of United Russia, which he chaired, that the party wanted to win the election unconditionally and clearly. He added that “competition should have no chance”. Although he has won applause, he is losing ground.

It is led to victory by the current head of the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin (68), although he does not participate in the elections.

The last election was a boost in Crimea, now they are playing the first economic injections

Putin’s former ally exaggerates so as not to tarnish the party’s image. When Medvedev appeared at the party congress a few weeks before the election, he was ashamed.

“The whole election campaign was hidden from the electorate in order to avoid doubts about the unconditional victory of the party. When the farewell speech? Commented the portal Moskovskaya Gazeta ironically.

President of the United Russia Party Dmitry Medvedev (55) at the 20th Congress of the Party.

Photo: Grigory Sysoev, CTK / AP

The former president and prime minister took turns with Putin not only to lead the country, but also to lead the United Russia candidate. Earlier this year, however, he lost his post as prime minister and political star, according to analysts.

Putin has put “heavyweights” at the helm of United Russia’s candidate – Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (66) and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (71). According to polls, he is one of the most popular Russian politicians and the party promises to “improve its image”.

Lavrov recently made statements about symbols attributed to Russia. When he met with young voters in annexed Crimea, he said he saw nothing wrong with associating Russians with “balalaika, vodka and bears”.

Asked if these were offensive stereotypes, he replied: “God forbid – this is a sign of fun and a positive attitude towards life and bears are also a reflection of our relationship with nature.”

Foreign agents

The pre-election “cleansing”, a kind of political “sterilization”, excluded the opposition from participation. After Alexei Navalny, 45, was behind bars, several activists ended up in exile.
This year’s election is for the first time literally full of “foreign agents”.

The sticker given by the authorities to NGOs, political structures and foreign-funded journalists had a significant impact on the campaign.

For example, Pavel Grudinin, 60, a charismatic billionaire and owner of the agricultural company Lenin’s Sovkhoz, who wanted to run for the Communists, was canceled by shares in foreign banks.

Winston Ferguson

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