Russia: Regime primes pump for rubber-stamp “election” with prizes

Source: International Business Times

“Twenty apartments! A hundred cars! Tens of thousands in gift certificates! These are just some of the prizes up for grabs for Russians later this week. All they have to do is vote. After a year that saw a historic crackdown on the opposition and with President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party floundering in the polls, authorities are doing what they can to drum up interest in parliamentary elections taking place over three days from Friday to Sunday. … With top Kremlin foe Alexei Navalny in jail and other opponents sidelined, critics say the vote is little more than a rubber-stamping of Putin’s allies. … Recent surveys by state-run pollster VTsIOM showed fewer than 30 percent of Russians planning to vote for the party, down from 40-45 percent in the weeks ahead of the last parliamentary election in 2016. But United Russia is widely expected to retain its two-thirds majority …” (09/12/21)