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Results of election to Moscow’s legislature indicate lack of protest voting — Kremlin

The presidential press secretary was asked whether the Kremlin saw any links between United Russia party's losing seats in the Moscow City Duma and this summer’s street protests

MOSCOW, September 9. /TASS/. The results of Sunday’s elections to the Moscow City Duma (legislature) indicate that deliberations of political analysts about protest voting were not true, Russian president’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Monday.

"We are not inclined to agree with that. On the contrary, the election results indicate that all the deliberations of political analysts about ‘protest voting’ have proved to be untrue," he said when asked whether the Kremlin saw any links between the fact that members of the ruling United Russia party have lost a number of seats in the Moscow City Duma after the September 8 elections and this summer’s street protests in Moscow.

Andrei Turchak, secretary of United Russia’s General Council, said earlier that the party’s faction was winning the majority in the Moscow City Duma and hoped to have 25 out of 45 seats. However, secretary of United Russia’s Moscow city branch Andrei Metelsky has ceded his Duma seat to Sergey Sevostyanov of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF).

Elections to the Moscow City Duma were held on the single voting day on September 8 in 45 one-seat constituencies. A total of 225 candidates were registered. Fifty-eight of them were self-nominees. The rest represented the CPRF, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR), A Just Russia party, Civilian Power, Yabloko, Communists of Russia, Rodina (Motherland), the Greens and the Party of Growth.

United Russia's performance nationwide

Commenting on the votes secured by the United Russia party across Russia, Peskov noted that the outcome of the single voting day provides a great opportunity for analysing the situation and drawing certain conclusions about the future.

Peskov stressed that the United Russia party "has won the overwhelming majority of seats and has lost some of them." "Certainly, each election provides a great opportunity for analyzing the situation and the ground for drawing certain conclusions. I’m sure that all parties, which took part in the polls, and all candidates will certainly use the experience gained during this election to prepare for the new ones," Peskov said.

Overall, the United Russia party has maintained its leading positions, the Kremlin spokesman said on Monday, adding that there have been no major incidents during the elections.

"We have to give an overall estimation of United Russia’s performance at the elections. In general, this election campaign all over Russia has been quite successful for the United Russia party," the spokesman told reporters. He noted that the party’s representatives "[will receive] more seats in some places, fewer seats in others, however, overall, the party has demonstrated its political leadership in the country."

"The elections have taken place without incident, in a working atmosphere. Of course, sociologists and political analysts will continue to discuss and attempt to analyze the results — it’s their bread and butter. However, we can only state the existing preliminary results that were announced by the Central Election Commission," Peskov said.

The election must be free and fair, he concluded, citing the motto of President Vladimir Putin and Central Election Commission’s Head Ella Pamfilova.

Peskov noted that it was absolutely wrong to draw any conclusions now, stressing that fluctuations of figures were quite possible. According to Peskov, systemic conclusions, summing up the entire picture, should be made.

Nationwide, over 5,000 elections of various levels took place on September 8 in 85 Russian regions. Thirteen regions elected their legislatures and 16 regions elected governors. City legislatures were elected in 22 administrative centers and three regional capitals elected heads of municipal entities. Apart from that, by-elections to the Russian State Duma lower parliament house were held in four one-seat constituencies.

According to Andrei Turchak, the United Russia has received over 60% of mandates in Russian regional legislative bodies without taking into account the self-nominees that may join the United Russia parliamentary fractions later.