Russians Affirm Putin’s Leadership in Duma Election
Sept. 19, 2016 (EIRNS)—President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia received 54% of the vote and a likely 76% of the seats in Sunday’s national elections for the nation’s lower house of parliament, the Duma. While voter turnout was lower, at 47%, the result otherwise represents a full 50% increase from five years ago, when United Russia won just over 50% of the Duma seats.
According to preliminary results from the Central Election Commission (CEC), United Russia is going to get 343 mandates for 76.22% of seats in the 7th State Duma; the Communist Party (CPRF) gained 42 mandates (9.34%); the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR), 39 mandates (8.67%); A Just Russia, 23 mandates (5.11%); Rodina, Civic Platform (Grazhdanskaya Platforma), and independent Vladislav Reznik, gained 1 mandate each.
The Communist Party comes second with 13.45% of the votes, and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) is in the third place with 13.24% of the votes. A Just Russia gained 6.17% of the votes.
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to answer how these results will influence Putin’s decision whether to again run in the Presidential election in 2018.
"I cannot answer this question," Peskov said.
"But it is evident, that the overwhelming majority of the voters spoke de facto in support of the president. Putin has once again received a massive vote of confidence from the country’s people."
Putin, himself, reflected on these results with his usual sage sense of irony. Commenting at the opening of a cabinet meeting this morning, he told colleagues,
"Of course, we can ask ourselves, how is this possible given the big economic and social sector difficulties we have been facing and the drop in people’s real incomes?"
If not a vote on their past work, he said, it must be their future work, "an advance on the part of our people," that got them the vote, "and we now must live up to their expectations."
Putin also noted that the population desired stability in otherwise "uncertain" times, and that the result was a complete rejection of
"attempts to exert foreign pressure on Russia, and of the threats, sanctions, and attempts to destabilize the situation in Russia from within."
Liberal "opposition" parties failed to win a single seat, nationwide, in the elections.