Russia: Regions Prepare to Vote After Campaign of Tricks, Complacency | The Moscow Times
On Sunday, the governors of 21 Russian regions and more than 1,300 heads of small city administrations will be elected, together with deputies for 11 regional parliaments and 25 city legislatures. The nationwide elections, known as unified election day, are considered by some analysts to be a final rehearsal for the State Duma elections in 2016 in which tactics and methods are being tested accordingly. The main question is whether the opposition will be able to gain any ground, but chances are slim, say pundits. “The Kremlin fears elections at all levels,” Dmitry Oreshkin, an independent political analyst, told The Moscow Times, commenting on vigorous efforts in some regions to eliminate the opposition at the candidate registration stage. The campaign has seen several tactics employed that have raised eyebrows among political commentators.