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United Russia loses Duma constitutional majorit

December 05, 2011, 13:04 UTC+3
After 93 percent of ballot papers had been counted United Russia gained support of 49.72 percent of voters
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MOSCOW, December 5 (Itar-Tass) —On Sunday, Russia held the State Duma elections. After 93 percent of ballot papers had been counted United Russia gained support of 49.72 percent of voters, the Communist Party – 19.15 percent, Just Russia – 13.16 percent, the Liberal Democratic Party – 11.67 percent, Yabloko – 3.21 percent, Patriots of Russia – 0.96 percent and Right Cause – 0.59 percent. Thus, the ruling party lost a constitutional majority. President Dmitry Medvedev has already announced that the ruling party has to coalize.

The Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily noted that 2,999 representatives of seven parties bid for 450 seats in the lower house of parliament: thus, there were 6.66 contenders for a seat, the results of the race were decided by almost 110 million people in Russia and abroad. The ballot papers that had been processed demonstrated that all parties having seats in the State Duma of the previous convocation will form a new Duma. According to the latest information, the voter turnout reached 50.4 percent, slightly lower than that registered during the previous elections. Moreover, United Russia lost almost 20 percent of the 2007 results.

The first calculations of the ballot papers demonstrated that United Russia is losing a constitutional majority in the State Duma of the sixth convocation and it is not the fact that it will retain a simple majority, the Kommersant business daily said. The same four parties will keep their seats in the lower house as before, but the balance of forces will change. The ruling party is losing a constitutional majority (300 seats) that it had been enjoying since 2003, and it is not all that simple with a simple majority. The director-general of the VTSIOM pollster, Valery Fyodorov, explained to the daily that to calculate the final number of mandates, it is necessary to distribute the votes of those parties that failed to overcome the threshold between the winners as well as the mandates in the relevant proportion.

The thing is not only in figures: United Russia tangibly lost votes in large cities, moreover practically all participants in the elections spoke about the triumph of the administrative resource that is incompatible with the previous campaigns.

The head of the Foundation for Effective Policy, Gleb Pavlovsky, explained the low turnout by the ruling party’s indistinctive for voters election campaign, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported. “This is advantageous for United Russia in this situation, because this allows minimizing the damage from United Russia’s declining support, as in this case more disciplined voters that are represented by two classes in Russia come to cast their ballots. To put it simply, these are women and elderly people. The majority of them vote for the effective authorities, this is a loyal electorate, who will respectively improve the results of the ruling party. The lower the turnout, the higher the figures,” he said. On the other hand, the expert believes that other parties are also interested in the low turnout. “The situation looks as if a crowd of coastal region residents ran to the site of the shipwreck and collected everything left from the submerging ship… Those groups, who do not support United Russia for different reasons, choose these or those parliamentary parties, just because they are running in the election race,” Pavlovsky said.

“We should have a strong faction of United Russia and we should have good relations with our partners,” the Komsomolskaya Pravda cited Dmitry Medvedev as saying. “In any case we have to join coalition agreements with other factions.”

This means that the ruling party has to do unusual business – to negotiate with opponents, the daily wrote. The president described this as “the result of real democracy.”

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