The United Russia party of former President and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has suffered a setback at the hands of the CPRF (Communist Party of the Russian Federation), which won about 20 percent of the vote in Sunday's elections to the state Duma, the lower house of parliament.
The BBC noted that "United Russia won the election, but with a sharp drop in its support ahead of Mr. Putin's bid to return to the presidency next March." Putin served as President from 2000 to 2008, but the Russian constitution prohibited him from running for a third consecutive term.
According to the Russian international news agency Ria Novosti,
The governing United Russia party won 238 of 450 seats in ... [the] elections ... a significant drop compared to the 315 seats it won in the 2007 elections.
International observers spoke of "flagrant violations" during the elections. Ria Novosti reported,
OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] observers noted that the preparations for the elections were technically "well administered across a vast territory," but marked by "a convergence of the state and the governing party," limited political competition and a lack of fairness.
Click here to read the entire article.
Photo of Vladimir Putin: AP Images