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And the Winner is…

December 09, 2020

The Kremlin Done Counting the Votes in the 2021 Election

A month has passed since the US presidential election and the Kremlin media continue to broadcast claims on Zombie Voters, manipulations, irregularities, violations and the Mafia, supporting Biden. The Kremlin has not yet recognised Joe Biden as President-elect, and is still waiting for the “formal result”.

In Russia’s parliamentary elections, the results are in; the votes are counted. The Kremlin Party, United Russia, takes home a convincing victory. The party received two thirds of the seats, which is enough to decide on constitutional changes. The result clearly demonstrates how swiftly and effectively votes can be tallied in Russia, in comparison with certain other countries. It gets even more impressive, given the fact that the actual election is scheduled for September 2021.

The independent Russian news agency Meduza refers to sources within the Kremlin administration. According to the sources, the United Russia party received instructions from Aleksandr Kharichev, responsible for the administration’s liaison with the Russian parliament, the State Duma:

United Russia has received instructions for its preparations for the 2021 State Duma election at a closed session with representatives of the president’s administration, the party leadership and 50 members of the party who, according to the plans, will keep their seats in the new parliament. The aim is to give the party more than two thirds of the seats of the State Duma; a majority that will allow the party to vote for amendments to the Constitution.

According to Meduza’s sources, this result is at the request of President Vladimir Putin. In the latest election in 2016, United Russia received 76% of the seats in the parliament. Lately, however, the party has experienced problems, both in polls and in local elections.

Currently, the State owned polling institute VTsIOM shows a support of around 31% for United Russia. The numbers plummeted after a highly unpopular pension reform in 2018. A sizeable part of the responders (over 20% ) will not vote or cannot select a party worth supporting.

Intelligent Voting

Here, one can find an explanation to the Kremlin’s obsession with Alexei Navalny’s activities. Even before the attempted killing in August 2020, the EUvsDisinfo Disinformation database contained a large number of cases, connected to the Russian opposition figure. Rather than organising a new party, Navalny has campaigned for a project called “Intelligent Voting”, suggesting that voters support any candidate that challenges the Kremlin party. This has worked in several cases: In Khabarovsk in Far East Russia with 35 seats in the local council, United Russia went from 33 seats to 2 in 2019. In Irkutsk in Siberia – from 27 to 14 seats of 35. In Tambov in central Russia, the Kremlin party held all seats in the local council. After the Navalny Campaign in 2020 – the party kept one seat.

For a party with ambitions to be the Party of Power, this is a precarious situation. Meduza’s sources quote one of the representatives of the administration, Andrey Yarin, responsible for domestic affairs:

We need to come together and show unity to the face of the enemy.

Showing unity before an enemy is not a bad thing, but it has very little to do with the system of representative democracy. Putin’s aide Vladislav Surkov eloquently described the Kremlin’s approach to democracy as “a battle of bastards”. The role of the people in an election is, from the perspective of the Kremlin, to express loyalty with the Ruler.

Questioning Legitimacy

With a new president in the White House, the Kremlin wants to demonstrate that the Russian people support President Putin and to exhibit doubts in the legitimacy of the US leadership. The Kremlin media slowly seem to accept the fact that Joe Biden will move into the White House. Now the priority is to describe the democratic process as flawed – “A Fight without Rules in a Telephone Box” – and continue to use already disproved claims on “dead souls voting”.

The conservative human rights organisation Judicial Watch, well known for its legal actions against careless polling station officials in various states, detected in October 2020 that 1.8 million more voters than residents were registered at 353 polling stations. Many of which were deceased. It is well known who “dead souls” and illegal immigrants support in US elections.

The President of Russia will wait for the “formal results” of the US elections.

When it comes to future elections in Russia, the formal results are already decided.