Low turnout and reports of fraud in Russia’s regionals

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These are disparate elections, in which deputies of regional parliaments, councilors of town halls or governors are elected, in about half of the 85 subjects that make up the Russian Federation. But a conclusion seems to emerge as the counting of the votes progresses in the easternmost areas: despite pressure and administrative obstacles, in those elections and constituencies where candidates supported by blogger Alekséi Navalni They had managed to present candidacies, they managed to keep the pulse of the pro-government forces and candidates.

In Novosibirsk, when 24% of the votes were counted, five of the 30 candidates for councilor had positioned themselves first against their rivals from systemic parties, United Russia and to a lesser extent the Communist Party of Russia. In a dozen constituencies, they were in second position. With the first results in hand, the tweet account in the name of Navalni himself, convalescing in a Berlin hospital, has proclaimed with joy that in Novosibirsk and in Tomsk, the neighboring region, “the slogan of the smart vote – vote for that candidate best placed to defeat the government representative – is winning & rdquor ;.

Thousands of kilometers from Germany, in the Siberian capital Sergei Boiko, leader of the 2020 Coalition backed by Navalni, he asked his observers present in the schools to be extremely vigilantas these unsatisfactory results could push the local elite to manipulate the count in later phases.

All this, despite the fact that apathy and low turnout were the dominant notes on election day. At the headquarters of Economic and Commercial College, next to Novosibirsk Central Market, a voting center had been installed to which the registered voters came with a dropper, at the rate of one The From every quarter of an hour. Of course, all those who had chosen to deposit their ballot claimed that they wanted to support “change.” Nikolai and Larisa, a middle-aged couple who prefer not to reveal their surname, claim that they voted for Sergei Boiko, the leader of the 2020 Coalition supported by Alekséi Navalni, because there needs to be “new faces” in the city.

They claim to be tired of “so much corruption”, and assure that the passage of the anti-corruption blogger through their city before being poisoned during the return to Moscow has even revealed problems they were unaware of. “He video complaint what did he do about it Pliushikhinski neighborhood have seen it already five million people; We didn’t even know that something like this would happen in our city, “exclaims Nikolai.” We know that there will be fraud, but we have come to vote; we have done what we could, “concludes his wife.

Similar storyline

Vladimir Klevtsov, another of the voters, follows a similar line of argument. “We need a change; we cannot continue like this,” he stresses. Although run a business, he assures not to “have proof” of the corruption of the local authorities. And it takes for granted that the electoral result will be falsified. “They have many opportunities to do it,” he denounces.

In Lenin Square, many locals preferred to take advantage of Sunday and the pleasant temperatures instead of going to the polls, convinced as they were that change was impossible. “I’m not going to vote because everything is already decided,” he explains. Yekaterina, 24, inadvertently revealing his last name. Yevgueni Paramónov, four years older than her, is of the same opinion: “I will vote when I am sure there will be no fraud.” Observers believe that what happened to Navalni after passing through Novosibirsk will have a “limited effect” on the way elections are conducted in the city and region. “It will mobilize its supporters, who can obtain representation in the city council,” she highlights. Vasili Volnujin, editor-in-chief of the portal ‘Taiga-Info’.

As during the vote on electoral reform that will allow Vladimir Putin to become president for life of Russia, the opening of schools has been prolonged three days due to the coronavirus epidemic. Specifically, Novosibirsk voters could exercise their right to vote as early as last fridays. With these parameters, the representatives of the opposition coalition take it for granted that there will be a great fraud, given that the first days workers from state institutions and agencies tend to come, on whom their leaders exert great pressure.

“We have verified how they were paid between 500 and 1000 rubles by vote in favor of official candidates, we even have screenshots of the telephone messages, ” Lena Noskoviets, member of the 2020 Coalition leadership. “Some voters have gone to the college and there they have verified that they had already voted for them,” he continues. Her political training would be considered a success if five of her thirty candidates manage to be elected and form a group in the Municipal Assembly.

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