Small breakthrough of opposition in local elections in Moscow
Local elections in Moscow held on Sunday (September 10th) set a new record of decline with only 14.8% participation, according to the Central Election Commission. The ruling party, the last ruling party in March 2018, won the vast majority of the mandates of elected municipal officials in the neighborhood councils.
The anti-Putin opposition, represented by independents and liberal-democratic parties such as Iabloko or Parnassus, however, managed a small breakthrough by winning the majority in 17 out of 125 outlying districts for the first time, and even 100% mandates in the Gagarinski district, where Vladimir Putin had gone to vote.
“It is obvious that there is a demand in the country for a change and new faces, and a tiredness of the political system that exhausted everyone, “ rejoiced Monday, the day after the vote, Dmitry Gudkov, a former independent deputy of the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, who hopes to run for the mayor of Moscow in September 2018. Under his leadership, a single headquarters was set up to help all independents campaign. Of the 1,502 candidates in the Russian capital, an unprecedented number of people under the age of 35 completed.
The vote was tainted by fraud and a scandal. Two days before the vote, a video was shown on YouTube, in which a senior municipal official distributed “reward” envelopes to the presidents of polling stations. The mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin, reacted without delay by dismissing the official. Golos, an independent election monitoring association, was seised of 600 irregularities identified by various sources, observers, citizens and members of electoral commissions.