Monday, March 15, 2010

United Russia leads in regions elections

March 15:United Russia party is leading in Sunday's Russian regional elections according to preliminary results from the Central Election Commission.Millions of Russians voted on Sunday in regional elections throughout the country seen as a popularity test for United Russia amid rising unemployment and housing and utilities prices. Elections to local authorities were held in 76 out of 83 Russian regions.
The eight regions were the Khabarovsk Territory in the Russian Far East, the Republic of Altai and the Kurgan Region in south Siberia, the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area in northwest Siberia, the Sverdlovsk Region in the Urals, the Ryazan and Kaluga Regions in central Russia and the Voronezh Region in southwest Russia.
United Russia, A Just Russia, the LDPR and the Communists all have factions in Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma.They were challenged by liberal opposition party Right Cause in the Voronezh and Ryazan Regions, and Russia's Patriots party in the Ryazan and Kaluga Regions and the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area, but those parties did not seem to have cleared the 7% threshold.RIA Novost

Boris Gryzlov, also as Chairman of the United Russia Supreme Council, said the ruling party would possibly have the majority of seats in these regions, judging by exit polls and preliminary elections results."We will have two-thirds of seats in half of the regions, and over a half in the rest," said Gryzlov as quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency.He noted that the other three parties that have seats in Russia's lower house of the parliament, including the Just Russia party, Liberal Democrats and Communists, may also won seats in the parliamentary elections."More than 90 percent of votes were given to parliamentary parties. This shows that Russia has formed a political system. Opposition is important for us (United Russia)," he said.These parties have to reach the 7-percent threshold to be elected to regional legislatures, with the exception of the Republic of Altai where the threshold is 5 percent.Sunday night results also showed that the United Russia party might lose the mayoral elections in the Siberian city of Irkutsk to the Communists, whose candidate Viktor Kondrashov is currently leading with 63.14 percent of votes. So far a fourth of the votes have already been counted.

Gryzlov said his party will study the techniques the Communists used in the Irkutsk mayoral elections.More than 32 million Russians, or one third of the total voters, went to the polls in Sunday's regional and local elections that officially closed at 8 p.m. Moscow time

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