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Showing posts from December, 2011

The State Duma elections and their aftermath

A belated word on the State Duma elections in Russia and their aftermath.  United Russia suffered a striking decline in support, managing 49.4% of the vote and scraping an outright majority, though the party lost the constitutional majority of 2/3rds which it previously enjoyed.
The results have attracted a great deal of attention and commentary in the western media for two reasons.  Firstly, the disappointing outcome for United Russia has been interpreted as a sign of growing disillusionment with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his successor as President, Dmitry Medvedev.
That’s not an unfair thesis.  Putin has acknowledged himself that some voters have taken the opportunity to give their country’s rulers a bloody nose at the polls.  He ascribes this phenomenon to difficult financial circumstances, but there’s also more than likely a growing sense of weariness and resentment at an elite which has dominated politics for 11 years.
It’s still almost inconceivable that Putin could lose t…