United Russia (VR), President Putins party, is leading the Russian parliamentary elections. With 55 percent of the votes counted, the pro-Kremlin party is over 46 percent of the votes. In Moscow, some of the partys supporters have already taken to the streets to celebrate victory.
VR was co-founded by Russian President Vladimir Putin. It was already expected that Russias biggest party would get the most votes again, partly because Putin did everything in the run-up to the elections to hinder the opposition.
Independent observers of Golos, a voter srights organization, published a report on Saturday speaking of thousands of irregularities scattered across the country. Thats how people cast a vote more than once. Russias Central Election Commission also said it has received hundreds of complaints of abuses. However, according to the committee, there was no serious abuses that could affect the outcome of the elections.
In the previous 2016 election, the party received 54 percent of the vote. However, the pro-Kremlin party has lost popularity in recent times, including the deteriorated living conditions of many Russians.
The Communist Party, the second largest party in the State Duma (the Russian Parliament), can count on about 21 percent of the vote with more than half of the ballots counted. With this, the party, supported by the important opposition leader Alexej Navalny, is once again Russias second party.
Around 100 million Russians have been able to go to the polls since Friday to choose a new house of commons, with 450 members. In addition, regional and local authorities were elected. The last polling rooms were closed around 8pm (Dutch time) on Sunday evening. Sunday at the beginning of the evening, the turnout rate was around 45 percent.