Russian power wins tailor-made legislative elections

Members of a local election commission empty a ballot box at a polling station after the last day of parliamentary elections in Moscow on September 19, 2021.

The Russian legislative elections, which were held from Friday 17 to Sunday 19 September, delivered an unsurprising verdict, marked by the clear victory of the presidential party, a progression of the Communists and a major fraud. On Monday morning, a still partial count of the ballots at the federal level gave 49.4% of the vote to United Russia and 19.8% to the Communist Party, or 6 points more than in the 2016 election. Turnout was stable at 47, 75%.

By taking in counts the mandates allocated by constituency (half of the 450 seats are allocated by a federal vote and the other half by a local vote), the party in power should have a very large majority, probably that, constitutional, of two-thirds. Several regional leaders were also re-elected with comfortable scores, the highest being that of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov (99.6%).

Ballot box stuffing, rewritten lists …

The slight decline in United Russia, whose confidence rating is at its lowest, comes despite significant fraud, observed far beyond the regions where it is usual. St. Petersburg, for example, seems to be establishing itself as a new bastion, with many ballot stuffing and a tense counting, Sunday evening, marked by arrests of observers and counts made behind closed doors. MEP Thierry Mariani, who was an observer ” personally “, praised the reliability of the ballot.

Read the report: In Koroliov, in Russia, the hard fight of the observers against the electoral “small violations”

The electoral monitoring organization Golos has identified 4,950 violations of various magnitudes, an increase of 30% compared to the 2016 legislative elections, even though the means to detect them have been reduced. Social networks have, for their part, been inundated of various fraud images : ballot box stuffing by the dozen, forced votes, multiple votes, phantom voters, prevented observers, rewritten electoral lists, etc.

Among the novelties of these elections, the chests with double bottom (to keep the ballots) and the removable seals at will, a worrying trend for a poll which took place for the first time over three days – and two nights.

However, a more complete picture of fraud and its effects is only possible a posteriori, thanks to the study of “statistical anomalies”, that is to say of polling stations recording peaks in participation and voting. pro-power without comparison with their neighbors. Or displaying too “perfect” results. In 2016, for example, in the Saratov region, that of outgoing Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, a third of polling stations had the same score to the nearest tenth (62.2%).

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