Russians vote in election test for Putin

Prime minister's party expected to lose huge parliament majority in vote seen as test of his popularity.

By REUTERS
December 4, 2011 11:41
1 minute read.
Vladimir Putin casts his vote

Vladimir Putin casts his vote 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

MOSCOW - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's ruling party could see its vast parliamentary majority cut back on Sunday in elections widely seen as a test of his popularity ahead of an expected return to the presidency early next year.

Voters turned out from the Pacific to the Baltic coasts in the world's biggest country where Putin restored central control and revived the economy in a 2000-2008 presidency. He remains by far the most popular politician in the country but there are signs Russians may be wearying of a cultivated strong man image.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
Report: Russia delivers anti-ship missiles to Syria

Some voters expressed disgust with a parliamentary poll they said was likely to be rigged. Others said they backed the United Russia party of Putin, who has continued to exert influence as prime minister since yielding the presidency to Dmitry Medvedev under a constitution forbidding more than two consecutive terms.

"I support United Russia. I like Putin. He is the strong leader we need in our country," said Nikolai, a 33-year-old customs officer in Vladivostok, a port city of 600,000 people on the Pacific and the biggest city in Russia's Far East.



Some said they would vote for Just Russia or the Communists, who retain support largely among poorer sections of the population two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the advent of a free market system.



Polls show Putin's party is likely to win a majority but less than the 315 seats it currently has in the 450-seat lower house of parliament, known as the Duma.

If Putin's party gets less than two-thirds of seats, it would be stripped of its so called constitutional majority which allows it to change the constitution and even approve the impeachment of the president.

Related Content

Anti-government protesters demonstrate on a street in central Ankara
June 16, 2013
Thousands take to streets of Istanbul, defy Erdogan

By REUTERS