Ruling party dominates regional elections in Russia
15.10.12 12:34 By Politics Dept.
Over 4500 elections were held in Russia's 77 regions on Sunday Photo: RIA "Novosti"
Russia's ruling party "United Russia" has dominated election polls in almost all regions after Sunday's regional vote, early results suggest.
Elections have finished in 77 of Russia's regions. People were voting for governors, local parliament deputies, and legislative assembly members.
The preliminary results announced by the Central Elections Commission
"As a rule, the turnout for regional elections is 40-45%. This time the turnout was lower, except for those regions where people elected governors for the first time in years," Andrey Buzin from the "Golos" election monitoring association told Gazeta.ru.
Voter turnout was high in five regions where people were choosing governors: Amur, Belgorod, Novgorod, Bryansk and Ryazan regions. The turnout was lower in those regions where people voted for just legislative assemblies.
Late Sunday evening 100% of votes were counted in the Amur region. The results showed that the current governor, the United Russia member Oleg Kozhemyako won the post with more than 77% of the vote.
The governor's post in the Belgorod region was won by another United Russia candidate, Evgeniy Savchenko, who has been ruling the region for almost 20 years now. He received over 80% of the vote, according to preliminary results.
Yet another United Russia candidate, Sergey Mitin, also held on to his post as governor in the Novgorod region where he received some 76% of vote, preliminary results suggest.
In the Bryansk region where communist party supporters reported violations on voting stations, the governor's post was won by another United Russia candidate, Nikolay Denin, with over 66% of the vote.
In the Ryazan region the governor's post was won by United Russia candidate Oleg Kovalev, getting over 66% of the vote.
The success of the ruling party was commented on by party leader Prime-Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
"Let's face the fact that United Russia has had a bigger success than in the December Duma election," Medvedev said at the United Russia headquarters in Moscow. "Everybody expected a party fiasco following the December vote. Nothing like that has happened," Medvedev added.
"This means that we should not be afraid of democracy," Medvedev concluded.
The CEC reported 55 voting rigging cases across the country.
The independent election monitoring association "Golos" announced some 208 violations in the Saratov region alone. Golos activists reported mass ballot stuffing in Bashkortostan, the Saratov region and the Sakhalin region.
A lot of attention was drawn to the Moscow region city of Khimki where the anti-Putin activist Yevgeniya Chirikova ran for mayor.
The Moscow elections commission reported late Sunday that the mayor's post was won by the United Russia candidate Oleg Shakhov who gained over 47% of votes. Chirikova gained some 17%. She called the elections "trash", saying that the vote in Khimki was rigged and unfair.
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