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Russia’s Ruling Party Wants a Big Win in Upcoming Elections

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10.08.2021

From Sept. 17 to Sept. 19, Russians will go to the polls to elect their parliament: the State Duma. The Russian parliament, though still less powerful than the presidency, has acquired expanded responsibilities under the new constitution, especially in regard to economic affairs. The institution also serves as a vital means of communication between various segments of the population and the government, relaying grievances and concerns upward and distributing patronage and largess downward.

United Russia, the ruling party, is defending their super majority of 336 seats but faces increasing challenges due to its own unpopularity and mounting grievances. Although United Russia is highly unlikely to lose control, maintaining a large majority is key both to ensuring its own cohesion and shoring up legitimacy of the Putin government.

From Sept. 17 to Sept. 19, Russians will go to the polls to elect their parliament: the State Duma. The Russian parliament, though still less powerful than the presidency, has acquired expanded responsibilities under the new constitution, especially in regard to economic affairs. The institution also serves as a vital means of communication between various segments of the population and the government, relaying grievances and concerns upward and distributing patronage and largess downward.

United Russia, the ruling party, is defending their super majority of 336 seats but faces increasing challenges due to its own unpopularity and mounting grievances. Although United Russia is highly unlikely to lose control, maintaining a large majority is key both to ensuring its own cohesion and shoring up legitimacy of the Putin government.

Russian elections are not entirely free and fair, but the actual vote itself has grown more secure over the years. This effort to secure the vote results from the government’s need for credibility in the form of a popular stamp of approval and in reaction to backlash over past instances and allegations of tampering. Although voting irregularities still occur at some scale, particularly at less centrally controlled regional levels, United Russia has primarily focused on limiting the ability of opposition groups to compete on a level playing field by making it difficult to get on the ballot,........

© Foreign Policy


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