Results of the 2016 Duma elections: Russians prove disinterested in voting; United Russia wins again
The Russian Federation held its elections for the seventh convocation of the State Duma, its lower house of parliament, on Sunday. Only four political parties managed to win seats in the Duma, among them pro-Kremlin political party United Russia, The Communist Party, far-right Liberal Democratic Party, and A Fair Russia party. A few places were also secured by single-seat constituency from other political parties, though their parties failed to secure any 'party-list proportional representation' seats. Some regions saw a record low turnout. Below, Meduza gives you the rundown of the most important things to know.
Less than half Russia's registered voters turned up at polling station in this election, meaning that the new Duma was chosen by less than 50 percent of Russians. In some regions, less than one third of registered voters participated. Turnout in Russia as a whole was at 47.9 percent.
According to preliminary data, turnout in Moscow, the Moscow Region, and St. Petersburg was also at a record low. As of 6 PM on Sunday, only 28.62 percent of Moscow's voters had cast their vote (a striking contrast with the 50.1 percent that had voted by 6 PM the day of the 2011 elections). In the Moscow region, this figure stood at 21.73 percent (as opposed to 44 percent in 2011) and at 17 percent in St. Petersburg (as opposed to 38.65 percent in 2011).
The maximum turnout in Sunday's elections was seen in the Kemerovo region, where 78.96 percent of the population had voted by 5 PM, in the Tyumen region, where 74.3 percent of the population had voted by 5 PM, and in Chechnya, where 72.16 percent of the population had voted by 5 PM.
After a break of 13 years, the State Duma has again opted for a mixed system: allocating 225 seats in accordance with a proportional representation system (in which a party compiles a list of candidates and wins seats in proportion to the number of votes it receives) and its remaining 225 seats to candidates from single-member districts.
The results of this election show that the new Duma will consist of the same four political parties as the previous one: United Russia, The Communist Party, far-right Liberal Democratic Party, and A Fair Russia party. Other political parties could not get past the five percent threshold required to secure seats. The new Duma will also have one representative from the Rodina political party and one representative from the Grazhdanskaya platforma political party, as well as one independent member.
One of the surprises of the elections was the success of Liberal Democratic Party when it came to winning seats from the proportional representation scheme. For the first time, the far-right party has caught up with the Communist Party in terms of popularity with a gap of only one-quarter of a percent (compared with 5.95 percent in 2011 and 3.43 in 2007).
United Russia was the leader in the 2016 Duma elections, achieving stunning results. United Russia candidates managed to win 90 percent of Russia's districts, winning 203 mandates. In terms of party list seats, United Russia won just over half the votes with its 54.23 percent victory.
In total, United Russia has secured 343 seats in the new Duma and has set a new record for itself (it won only 238 seats in 2011 and 315 seats in 2011). By achieving a constitutional majority, United Russia has now won the right to amend Russia's constitution without the help of opposing political parties.
"It is safe to say that our party won," said Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Sunday evening.
Almost no one voted for liberal non-parliamentary parties and none of them were able to move beyond the five percent threshold necessary to gain seats through the proportional representation system. Yabloko won only 1.9 percent of the vote and Parnas less than one percent. Nor did Mikhail Khodorkovsky's Open Russia win a single seat in the new Duma.
In Moscow's central district, Parnas' Andrei Zubov and Open Russia's Maria Baronova lost to United Russia candidate Nikolai Gonchar. In the Tushino district, sixth convocation Duma member Dmitry Gudkov, running this time from political party Apple, lost to former chief sanitary doctor, United Russia's Gennady Onishchenko. In the Cheremushkinskaya district, Yabloko's Elena Rusakova finished in third place and Parnas' Konstantin Yankauskas did not even end up among the top three. They lost to United Russia candidate Dmitry Morozov. Nor did Yabloko candidate from Pskov Lev Schlosberg end up in the top three in his district.