Putin's United Russia wins majority in the Russian parliamentary elections 2021

 Communist Party of Russian Federation  increased its share of the votes from 13% to 21%

The ruling United Russia party of President Vladimir Putin has retained its majority in the Russian parliament. The voting for parliamentary elections was held from September 17 to 19 across Russian Federation. As the 87% votes counted so far, the Central Election Commission said United Russia had won nearly 49% of the vote, with its nearest rival, the Communist Party, at about 21%.

The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF), however, appears to be set to make substantial gains, with pollsters predicting it may have secured just over 21% of the vote – up from 13% in the previous election. Communist Party has made big gains in this election.

This could mean that United Russia is able to form a government without depending on other parties for support, but that it may lose its so-called super majority that has allowed it to pass constitutional reforms unopposed.

The partial results showed the Communist Party finishing in second, followed by the nationalist LDPR party with about 8% and the Fair Russia party with about 7%. All three parties usually back the Kremlin on most key issues.

The turnout stood at 45.15% without counting the online votes. It might go up to 48% after the final vote count. The turnout appears to be similar to the 2016 elections, when the final figure was 47.88%.

In the country, where there are 110 million voters, including those living abroad, elections for the State Duma, the parliaments of 39 regions and municipal and local elections in some regions were held between Sept. 17-19.

With 14 parties competing for 450 seats in the State Duma, only five parties pass the 5% threshold to enter the parliament.

Five political parties have cleared the 5% threshold needed to make it into the Russian parliament’s lower chamber, the State Duma, according to preliminary results Sunday.

President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party along with the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), the A Just Russia - For Truth party and the New People’s Party passed the threshold, Russia’s TASS news agency reported, citing the Central Election Commission.

United Russia has won comfortable majority in the Russian parliament to govern without the help of other parties. It is expected that United Russia might cross the 50% mark after the completion of vote count. But it will be 4% less than the last elections in which united Russia won 54% votes in 2016.

United Russia, which has described itself as President Putin's ‘team’ in the Duma, has dominated the Russian political scene since 2003. It held 343 of the 450 seats in the last parliament. This time around, its list was headed by Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. 

The critics of president Putin are claiming that result could have been far worse for United Russia Party if transparent and free elections were held.  They are alleging that Russian authorities didn’t allow main pro-west liberal opposition figures to run.  

Electoral authorities said they had voided any results at voting stations where there had been obvious irregularities and that the overall contest had been fair.

The outcome looks unlikely to change the political landscape, with Putin, who has been in power as president or prime minister since 1999, still dominating ahead of the next presidential election in 2024. Putin has yet to say whether he will run.

The 68-year-old leader remains a popular figure with many Russians who credit him with standing up to the West and restoring national pride.

The partial results showed the Communist Party finishing in second with 21% of the votes, followed by the nationalist LDPR party with about 8% and the Fair Russia party with about 7%. All three parties usually back the Kremlin on most key issues.

United Russia held nearly three quarters of the outgoing State Duma's 450 seats. That dominance helped the Kremlin pass constitutional changes last year that allow Putin to run for two more terms as president after 2024, potentially staying in power until 2036.

                                                                 Khalid Bhatti 


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