On October 14, the regional elections are to take place in 77 regions of Russia. More than 57,000 candidates will be running for different posts in the regional and municipal governing bodies. It is expected that about 28 million Russians will come to polling stations. It will be possible to monitor the elections via the Internet. Many polling stations will be equipped with electronic ballot boxes. What makes the election unique is an unprecedented number of new political parties, which are to take part in it: 25 instead of only 4-7 parties, as it was before.
This year regional elections have a good chance to leave their mark in Russia’s history. For the first time in seven years the residents of five regions in a row – the Ryazan, Belgorod, Novgorod, Amur and Bryansk oblasts will be independently electing their governors. It is also possible that the list of the regional deputies will be supplemented by the members of the new parties, for example such parties as “Clever Russia”, “The Russian Social Network” and the Party of Free Citizens. This political diversity has influenced people’s interest in the elections Deputy head of Central Election Commission (CIC) Leonid Ivlev said in an interview with the “Voice of Russia”. the commission forecasts if not a record but a very high turnout at the regional elections. The contest is also quite tough this year – up to 12 candidates are running for a seat in regional parliaments, he said.
“We did not expect political parties to be so active. Right after the amendments to the law on political parties came into force in late April new political parties began to spring up and these newborn parties are already taking part in the elections. On the one hand it is necessary to admit that they are very weak and it must take several elections before some of them turn into a real political force. Perhaps in two years it will become clear what parties will vanish, what parties will form coalitions and become part of other political forces. The votes people cast for these parties are the only criterion of these parties’ existence. If people vote for a candidate from a new party, this party will have its deputies in regional parliaments, heads of the municipalities. This party will be a long tern survivor but it should take more than one election.”
Full Article: Russia’s regional elections : Voice of Russia.