Russia’s ruling party loses a third of seats in Moscow election after protests

By Naira Davlashyan  translated by Alice Tidey | EuroNews.Com

Russia’s ruling party has seen its majority decrease dramatically in Moscow’s city legislature after a summer of protests.

Candidates from United Russia, which supports President Vladimir Putin, were on course to claim 26 seats of the City Duma’s 45 seats, according to RIA news agency, citing nearly-complete election data.

This is down 16 from the 40 the party previously held, while the Communist Party was reportedly going to win 13 seats, the centre-left A Just Russia three seats and liberal party Yabloko three seats, coming back from its leader, Sergei Mitrokhin, initially being banned from standing.

It suggested a tactical voting strategy pushed by Putin’s opponents may have worked — prominent opposition politician Alexei Navalny advised his supporters to vote tactically across Russia for the candidate with the best chance of defeating United Russia.

Several regional and local elections took place across Russia on Sunday following two months of intense protest in the capital to denounce the authorities’ decision to ban opposition and independent candidates from running.

Most of the attention has been focused on Moscow, where rallies calling for free and fair election were organised every weekend throughout July and August, gathering tens of thousands in the biggest social unrest movement to rock the country in years.

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