Correspondent in Moscow
From today Friday until Sunday, 108 million Russians are called to the polls to elect the 450 deputies of the State Duma (Lower House of the Russian Parliament). For this reason, the president Vladimir Putin yesterday sent a message to his fellow citizens to come to vote and show their “patriotism.” His main adversary, the imprisoned opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, asked on Wednesday to cast the vote in favor of any party except “United Russia”, the formation of Putin.
“I ask you to participate in the next vote, choose the day that suits you, starting on September 17. Come to your electoral colleague or take advantage of the possibility of remote electronic voting. Modern technologies guarantee their safety and reliability, “said the Russian prime minister through a video posted on the Kremlin’s website.
In his opinion, “a well-coordinated work of the State, society and citizens is necessary to respond to modern challenges and effectively use the new possibilities that are offered to us.” In his words, “the election of a new composition of the Lower House of Parliament is an important event in the life of the country (…) everyone is interested in bringing competent people to the Duma, in word, capable of fulfilling their duties. promises.
No application of ‘smart vote’
Already on the first day of the legislative elections in Russia, and as denounced by opposition ally, Navalni’s ‘smart vote’ application has been removed from Google and Apple platforms.
“Today (Friday) at 8 am Russian time, Google and Apple removed our Navalni app from their app stores. That is to say, they yielded to the Kremlin’s blackmail, ”Leonid Volkov, one of the opposition leader’s closest collaborators, said in the Telegram message application.
The ‘bandits’ of ‘United Russia’
However, Navalni has always considered that the deputies of “United Russia”, whom he has come to label as “bandits” are neither competent, nor have a word, nor keep their promises. For this reason, he has asked citizens to resort to the so-called “smart vote”, consisting of supporting the candidate, of any party with the best chance of being elected, but never of Putin.
Ivan Zhdanov, a close associate of Navalni in exile, announced on Wednesday the candidates of other formations, since they themselves will not be able to participate in the elections because they are classified as “extremists”, for which they recommend casting the vote. Among them there are 137 from the Communist Party (61%), 48 from the Social Democrats of ‘Fair Russia’, 20 from the ultranationalists from the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) and 5 from the liberal party ‘Yábloko’ (apple). The aim is to win as many seats as possible from the Kremlin party, although, probably, it is not possible to prevent that the absolute majority revalidates.
Already at the end of the electoral campaign, Putin has announced that he has had to quarantine himself again when “dozens” of cases of Covid-19 among the officials of the Presidency. “In my environment (…) there is not one, not two, but several dozen people who have fallen ill with coronavirus,” Putin revealed yesterday, during a meeting by videoconference of the Organization of the Collective Security Treaty (ODKB). «I had to cancel my visit to Dushambé “Tajikistan – I’m very sorry,” he declared. Before announcing his isolation, the Russian president received his Syrian counterpart in Moscow on Monday, Bashar al-Assad, and several Paralympic athletes who had just returned from Tokyo.