Kremlin silences opposition ahead of elections
Election lovers rejoice… Russia heads to the polls in what is said to be a big test of President Vladimir Putin’s presidency. From today and across the weekend, voters will select their lower house representatives of parliament (the Duma), and while Putin’s United Russia party’s approval rating is sitting at a record low of 26%, it’s expected to hold onto its majority in the 450-seat chamber. Of course it will, say critics who reckon this election will be the least democratic since Putin came to power 21 years ago. That’s because the Kremlin barred a number of independent candidates from running – including Russia’s key opposition figure Alexei Navalny, who has been behind bars since February after surviving an assassination attempt. With online voting being a thing this time around, voter fraud is a big concern too. Get ready to hear the term “lacks transparency” a few times before this one is done…
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