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Putin’s high rating helped the ruling party at the elections

October 16, 2012, 13:03 UTC+3
The October 14 elections showed that United Russia continues to dominate on the electoral field
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The newspapers continue to comment on the Single Voting Day in Russia on October 14 and are discussing nearly the monopoly position, which the United Russia Party gained in the elections. Putin's high rating helped the ruling party at the elections, the analysts believe.

The October 14 elections showed that United Russia continues to dominate on the electoral field, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily reported. According to the experts, the United Russia success is not accidental and is mainly linked with the trust of Russian citizens to the course pursued by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Putin's factor exists in those results, which United Russia gains at the elections of various levels," deputy director of the Centre of Political Climate Alexei Zudin stated. "Putin's factor came into full effect when the prospects for Vladimir Putin's comeback on the post of the president became really obvious on the horizon of the public opinion. This prospect was outlined in January 2012, and we remember that since January the process of restoring the United Russia electoral ratings has been launched," the expert explained.

Director of the Foundation for the Studies of the Problems in Democracy Maxim Grigoryev, naming the reasons for the United Russia victory, also believes that "certainly Putin's rating continues to influence on United Russia, a high result that Putin gained at the presidential elections." The political expert noted that "this result projects onto United Russia in some way."

Speaking on the results of the October 14 elections, the expert noted lower figures of A Just Russia and stronger positions of the Liberal Democrats. Grigoryev noted that the scandal with the participation of headliner of the A Just Russia Party Gennady Gudkov did not pass without any consequences for the party. Gudkov was found guilty of illegal business and was stripped of his deputy mandate in the State Duma. "On the one hand, the issues related with Gudkov's activities helped the A Just Russia Party to promote and get the support of some part of the opposition electorate, on the other hand, the party was left without its traditional electorate, which contemplated A Just Russia as the second ruling party," Grigoryev believes. "Some part of A Just Russia, including the leadership of the party, turned out to be in the street protests and misled some A Just Russia voters, who generally did not give such mandate to the party," Zudin agreed with Grigoryev.

Despite the fact that United Russia is formally headed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, the party began to be taken as completely a party of Putin's new policy, the Izvestia daily believes.

Upon the results of the Single Voting Day United Russia won all elections to the legislatures in the regional centres, the Kommersant daily noted. The ruling party is satisfied with this result, because the party failed to gain high percentages particularly in big cities at the State Duma elections in 2011. The opposition explains the election results with falsifications, and the experts noted that United Russia succeeded to win thanks to a low turnout.

Political expert Alexei Makarkin, who is cited by the newspaper, explained a low turnout by the fact that "most people lost trust in the authorities and do not believe to the opposition." "If the protests spark up, the state authorities will have very few active supporters," he noted. "Those who came to vote at the elections, came inertly or in the organized way, but are also irritated inside. They do not want any turbulences, but this is the current situation," he remarked.

Last December voting for the opposition parties, people conducted some kind of experiment: will it be better all of sudden? Director General of the Institute of Regional Problems Dmitry Zhuravlev explained. "But it did not become better, only more noise was made. The opposition succeeded to raise the value of stability due to loud revolutionary slogans like "Putin, go away!" "United Russia is taken as a party, which ensures stability. United Russia says you will elect us, it will not be worse, but there will be calmness and predictability," Zhuravlev noted.

On the contrary, political expert Alexander Kynev believes that "no reasonable explanations, except for falsifications," can explain the United Russia election results.

"Not quite popular regional governors work in the regions, where United Russia polled the lowest election result," the Kommersant daily quoted political strategist Konstantin Kalachev as saying. "The Krasnodar Territory, the Penza and Saratov Regions are the regions, which are absolutely "electorally controllable, they always set some kind of records in the election results of United Russia. Meanwhile, the point is not only in the use of the administrative resource, but in the fact that the opposition is strongly purged there," Kalachev notes.

The unwillingness of people to participate in regional and municipal elections is caused by the distrust to the elections in general and the tiredness from them in particular, the Novye Izvestia daily reported. This situation is profitable to the ruling party, which is interested in only loyal voters to participate in the elections. The argumentation is simple – just not to make it worse. 

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