22 Aug 2019 15:58

United Russia may bolster its standing in 5 regions after Sept 8 elections - report

MOSCOW. Aug 22 (Interfax) - The United Russia party can retain its standing in five regions after the September elections due to the weakness of local communists, liberal democrats, and A Just Russia party members, the Foundation for Civil Society Development said in a report seen by Interfax.

"There is no doubt that United Russia will retain or even strengthen its standing in the parliaments of Kabardino-Balkaria, Crimea, Tatarstan, Tyva, and the Volgograd region, where local branches of the Communist Party, the Liberal Democratic Party, and A Just Russia are quite weak," the report said.

Meanwhile, United Russia's standing may weaken wherever the ruling party has de facto found itself in opposition because of negative circumstances, the Foundation said. "Clearly, this has happened in the Khabarovsk Territory, which has been governed by Zhirinovsky's Sergei Furgal since last year when he defeated United Russia's Vyacheslav Shport. Furgal's 'honeymoon' with voters is not over yet, people keep forgiving every fault and inefficiency of the governor, and the Liberal Democratic Party has a much higher rating than United Russia in the region. This cannot be ignored," the report said.

"Zhirinovsky's party will obviously win in the territorial district. However, only 12 seats will be won on party tickets, and the question who forms the parliamentary majority will be answered in 24 single-member constituencies. United Russia has nominated enough strong candidates in single-member constituencies, besides there are some resourceful self-nominees, who happen to be United Russia's opponents but are likely to join their faction if they win," the experts said.

Meanwhile, Furgal has nominated many strong candidates in single-member constituencies, as well, the report said.

"The election is hard in Altai where United Russia may be sacrificed to the campaign of [acting head of the Altai administration Oleg] Khorokhordin. The latter needs support, including from the Patriots of Russia, which has long been representing interests of the Altai elites, and Rodina, whose regional campaign has shown unprecedented activity. Neither party has nominated its candidate for the regional head, and both of them are ready in principle to support the acting governor," the experts said.

"Obviously, a deal will have to accommodate their needs and provide the most favored regime. Besides, the fact that [Communist Party candidate Viktor] Romashkin will be the main and practically only opponent of Khorokhordin will give an electoral bonus to the Communist Party. Still, district campaigns are more important than the party one in Altai. The one who wins or keeps as many districts as possible will win," the experts said.

Regional parliaments will be elected in 13 regions, namely Moscow, Sevastopol, the republics of Altai, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachayevo-Cherkessia, Crimea, Mary El, Tatarstan, and Tyva, the Khabarovsk Territory, and the Bryansk, Volgograd, and Tula regions - on September 8.

Altai and the Volgograd region will elect both their heads and councils of deputies.