United Russia wins local elections in the country

Ekaterina Volozova

Beijing, (October 11,, 2010—m4relay) — Russia’s current ruling party, United Russia easily triumphed in regional elections across the country. Members of the party attribute the easy win to the fact that the majority of the population trusts the current political line of President Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, a Russian media outlet –RIA Novosti reported.

According to the Central Election Committee, United Russia is leading on all the regional and local levels, and there is no other party that can be considered to be in second place, according to RIA Novosti. More than 30 million people out of the 140 million populations were able to take part in the elections.

“We have crossed the 40 percent barrier in all cities, moreover, in many cities we received 50, 60 and even 70 percent of votes”, said Vyacheslav Volodin, Secretary of the Presidium of the General Council of United Russia in an interview with RIA Novosti.

Not all regions had the same percent of votes for United Russia, however. The main opposition parties- the Liberal and Democratic Party and the Communist Party as well as A Just Russia, were quite popular in the Novosibirsk region. According to information released by the Central Election Committee, United Russia collected 43.31 percent of votes in Novosibirsk, a city in the heart of the country with a population of 1,379,000, and that is considered to be the third largest in the country, and the largest in Siberia. The rest of the votes in the region were divided among the Communist Party of Russia, which had roughly about 25 percent of votes in the region, the Liberal and Democratic Party of Russia, which had about 10 percent, and another 17 percent of votes for other parties. Boris Gryzlov, spokesperson of United Russia, said that Novosibirsk is not the only region where the party has a fairly low rate of votes. However, he claimed that the percent of votes is much higher than last time, in 2005. He noted that this is still “a worthy result.”

Apart from that, other regions actually did have a relatively high percent of people voting for United Russia. For example, in the Magadan region, about 58 percent of voters supported United Russia, 58 percent in the Chelabinsk region, and in Tuva, 81 percent of voters chose the ruling party.

Many of those in the opposition parties say that the results of the voting polls are falsified, and that United Russia engages in additional illegal campaigning. For example, Oleg Mikheev, a deputy of Just Russia, claimed that “United Russia knows its real rating, which is why it has staked everything on monstrous violations,” he said in an interview with the New York Times.

United Russia officials, on their part, told reporters said that “the opposing parties have made many violations, and they accuse United Russia for no reason.” The officials pointed out that “what actually happened was that there are trucks that carry people with United Russia flags and T-shirts, these people apparently get out of the trucks, campaign for a few minutes and then they leave. Then the opposition parties claim this as additional campaigning.”

Despite debates on the legitimacy of the elections, United Russia got 60 percent of the total votes in the country.

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