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How Navalny Changed the Political Landscape in the Last Elections
September 14, 2020 16:13

The victory of Navalny's headquarters in Novosibirsk and Tomsk proves that last year's success of "Smart Vote" in the elections to the Moscow City Duma was not an accident, political analyst Abbas Gallyamov believes.

The fact that the protests in Russia have gone far beyond Moscow has long been clear. However, the results of the September 13 elections indicate that the capital's opposition has learned to convert popular discontent into electoral victories. The defeat of the United Russia party in the elections to the city councils of Siberian cities, as well as the victories of the heads of the local headquarters of Navalny, who will now occupy parliamentary seats and receive deputy powers, became the main news of the last Single voting day.

After this result, there is no doubt that in the Duma elections next year, Alexei Navalny will be able to overturn the United Russia candidates both in the capital and in other cities of the country. Yes, there is a problem of “petal cutting” of Duma districts, thanks to which the authorities will be able to drown city protest voting with the help of rural administrative resources, but only a quarter of Russians live in rural areas, and this resource may not be enough.

Of course, Navalny will have to work hard - to go around most of the districts during the campaign and release films similar to what he did about Novosibirsk and Tomsk - however, this task is not unsolvable. 

For the opposition, the Duma campaign will not be an easy walk anyway. This is evidenced by the victories of the Kremlin proteges in the gubernatorial elections. After all, even such frankly weak candidates as the acting governor of the Irkutsk region Igor Kobzev, the acting governor of the Penza region Ivan Belozertsev or the acting head of the Perm region Dmitry Makhonin were able to win in the first round. This success of the authorities confirmed last year's trend: if you do not nominate governors with high anti-ratings, then in the conditions of a total cleanup of competitors and a colossal strain of the administrative resource during all three voting days, they can still win. This fact does not radically change anything, but it must be borne in mind.

In addition to Navalny, the CPRF and New People were among the winners. The communists scored more than during the previous electoral cycle in the same regions and performed well in the cities. Despite the unprecedented pressure of the administrative resource, they were able, for example, to get four single-mandate candidates to the Krasnodar City Duma - despite the fact that before that they had none there. The New People organized a strong field campaign and deservedly won.      

The real - non-administrative - turnout these days was very low. The voter does not believe in elections and does not want to participate in them. This is a bad signal for the authorities, as it means that anti-systemic sentiments are growing. If people don't go to the polling stations, they start go to the streets, and a massive street protest is a very bad background for the Duma campaign.

Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Alexei Navalny Russian regions    

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