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ICC NOTE: In no real surprise, President Putin’s party United Russia, won a majority of seats in Sunday’s Duma elections taking 343 of 450 seats. The only true party of opposition toward Putin and the Kremlin lost its only lawmaker as a mere 40 percent of the total population turned out to vote. Many Russians and pundits describe the election as the dullest in Russian history. What the election did however is solidify Putin’s control of Russian politics, allowing him the chance to amend the constitution if he so desired. It also means the chance of the latest anti-terror law, which has seen a crackdown on religious groups without proper authorization, being repealed or rewritten to be very little. A rise in internet surveillance, crackdown on non ROC religious groups, and closing down the only independent polling station appears to show the direction in which Putin’s new Duma will go. 

9/20/2016 Russia (ABC News) – Russian President Vladimir Putin’s party has won national parliamentary elections with a significantly increased majority, a result that cements Putin’s total control over the country’s political life and which potentially grants him the ability to change Russia’s constitution. With 93% of the vote counted, the party, United Russia, was shown to have taken 343 of 450 seats in the lower house of parliament, a sizable increase on its previous 238 seats.

The vote was marked by an exceptionally low turnout of just 40 percent, illustrating a sense among many Russians that the election was of little importance in a country where the Kremlin determines all major policy decisions and elections are seen as stage-managed.

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