In regional elections in Russia some prominent oppositionists were not admitted as candidates. They then called for a "smart vote". The citizens should vote for everything except the candidates of the Kremlin party. Nevertheless, the party won anyway. According to the electoral line, in most regions the party was able to defend its majority of parliamentary mandates. The ruling party United Russia won 25 of the 45 seats in the contested Moscow city council. This was reported by the agency Interfax.
Two candidates of the Kremlin party lost their seats. The moderate opposition party Yabloko won three candidates in the largest city in Europe. Among them was the prominent politician Sergei Mitrokhin, who had obtained admission in court. The remaining MPs come from the Communists and other systemically loyal parties.
Governors of the Kremlin party everywhere victorious
In the most important for the Kremlin governor elections, the candidates of the power apparatus were awarded everywhere the victory. Surveys had predicted massive losses for the Kremlin party because of dissatisfaction with the country's economic situation. In the Khabarovsk region on the Pacific coast, the party only won 12.51 percent of the vote - after the ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia and the Communists.
Elections at regional and local level were seen as an important test of sentiment for Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin and the ruling party. In total, 56 million voters were called to vote - almost half of Russia's electorate. The turnout was sometimes very low. In Moscow, it was 21.63 percent - about as high as in 2014.
Election observers reported hundreds of reports of attempts at manipulation and disability in their work. There were massive protests before the election because dozens of oppositionists and Kremlin critics had been excluded from voting.