'It is even good that a communist has appeared in the State Duma from Tatarstan'
The author of the Telegram channel Politjoystik sums up the election results and gives forecasts for the next electoral cycle
“Tatarstan is a steadily developing region. People see this and, as they say, don't seek better. Especially when the president of the republic has such a level of trust. Therefore, from this point of view, the result of the United Russia in Tatarstan is absolutely not surprising to me. Certainly, large percentages of the party are always given by the rural population. But there is already the principle of consolidated voting," Marat Bashirov, a Russian political expert, author of the Telegram channel Politjoystik, argues in the interview with Realnoe Vremya. The expert sums up the results of the elections to the State Duma of the eighth convocation, predicts the role of the New People in parliament, talks about the need to change the “feeble old man” in the LDPR and explains the high percentage of the Communist Party.
From the editorial board: The elections of deputies of the State Duma of the eighth convocation have been recognised as valid. On September 24, the CEC signed the protocol on the elections to the State Duma. According to the head of the CEC, Ella Pamfilova, the final turnout for the elections is 51,72 percent. Following the results of the elections to the State Duma, the United Russia party received 324 mandates, Communist Party — 57, A Just Russia — For Truth — 27, Liberal Democratic Party — 21, and New People — 13.
“The appearance of the New People is a signal that the population expects reforms”
How do you assess the results of the elections in the context of the regions?
These were very important elections. The key characteristic of this campaign is that the results should be absolutely legitimate and the campaign clean. A lot of effort and money was spent on this. in particular, video cameras were installed everywhere at polling stations. And the video could be unwound from the discs on which it was recorded.
United Russia — well done for defending the course of the president. At the same time, the rejuvenation procedures of the party have been laid, which is very important, they showed that there is a social elevator here. The fact that four parliamentary parties have retained their position (some have received less, some have received more) shows that the four-party system is stable. But the fact that the New people have appeared is a huge signal that the population expects certain reforms of the political system and this cannot be ignored. I'm sure it will definitely be taken into account.
In your opinion, was it possible to ensure the absolute legitimacy and transparency of the elections in the end?
I think yes. Moreover, the story that happened in Moscow with the delay in issuing the results of electronic voting shows that the results were decided to be recalculated in order to remove any doubts. Even at the expense of timing.
But the fact that the New people have appeared is a huge signal that the population expects certain reforms of the political system and this cannot be ignored. I'm sure it will definitely be taken into account.
I wouldn't say that. There was a lot of speculation. Since the electronic form of voting will definitely develop, it was very important not to allow the possibility of questioning it in each election cycle.
From the editorial board: Moscow held online voting on its own platform at the elections, and six more regions — on a platform developed by the Central Election Commission, the Ministry of Finance and Rostelecom. The results of the Remote Electronic Voting in Moscow were summed up with a delay of several hours. The opposition candidates were unhappy that they won fewer votes online than their main rivals. At the same time, as the deputy chairman of the Moscow City Election Commission, Dmitry Reut, said, the capital would not recalculate the votes received from voters using remote electronic voting (DEG), such decision can only be made by the court.
“The anullment of results demonstrates self-purification”
Why, in your opinion, have so many incidents of vote cancellation been registered in St. Petersburg?
From the editorial board: The Central Election Commission of Russia has sent materials to the Investigative Committee and the Prosecutor General's Office on some violations recorded in St. Petersburg during the elections to the State Duma of the eighth convocation. The northern capital has become the leader in the number of appeals and complaints about possible violations at polling stations. Besides, the CEC intends to bring to the Investigative Committee of Russia and the Prosecutor General's Office a submission about the “absolute conflict of interests” of Vice-Governor of St. Petersburg Alexander Belsky during the elections to the city parliament. The commission explained that he was running for deputy and engaged in election campaigns at the same time. The Commission asks the Investigative Committee of Russia to organise a procedural check of serious violations of electoral legislation committed during voting in the elections in St. Petersburg in the districts 212 and 218. Pamfilova noted that “about 10 thousand votes went nowhere” after the ballots were declared invalid.
Mr. Beglov (Governor of St. Petersburg, ed.) absolutely correctly said that it was the most democratic elections in the country and the most democratic parliament. In fact, a lot of political forces are represented there, including Yabloko, who failed the elections throughout the country, as well as the Party of Growth, New People gained a lot. St. Petersburg proved to be a real democratic capital.
Regarding the cancellation of votes, this is the position of the CEC of Russia, which said that any dubious results must be cancelled. If for this purpose it is necessary to cancel even the entire elections in the district — it must be done. It is better to hold elections anew than to question their legitimacy.
Do you remember the story of the Stavropol Krai, where the chairman of the precinct election commission covered the camera with a rag? And Pamfilova immediately demanded that she be fired. Therefore, the fact that some results are cancelled, demonstrates some self-purification — this is a good signal.
From the editorial board: in Stavropol Krai, the chairman of the precinct election commission (PEC) 1085 was dismissed, where the surveillance camera was covered with rags. According to the video shown in the Central Election Commission, at night in the precinct electoral commission in Pyatigorsk, there were people in the room with safes where the ballots were, and the camera aimed at them was covered with a rag. Pamfilova called it the height of cynicism, arrogance and complete confidence in impunity.
To be honest, I don't believe that all five of them will remain in the places where they worked before. They are all responsible people and understand what effect this will have. And they should have thought about it in advance, before they agreed to nominate their candidacies.
“I don't believe that the entire top five United Russia candidates will remain in place”
Did the results of United Russia, which gained almost 50 percent of the votes, become surprising for you?
For me, the result of United Russia did not come as a surprise.
How honest is it for voters that the party put at the head of the electoral list those who would not have gone to the State Duma (Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov, chief physician of the hospital in Kommunarka Denis Protsenko, co-chairman of the All-Russia People's Front Elena Shmeleva — ed.)?
First, we do not yet know who will go to the State Duma and who will not. So far, these are all journalistic assumptions. The procedure is as follows: first, the CEC of Russia approves the number of mandates, then the primary list is determined, which will include all these five. Then each of those who ran will be asked if they agree to assume the powers of a State Duma deputy. And only at this moment we will find out who decides to go to the State Duma and who refuses. Up to this point, all this is journalistic idle speculation. In addition to that there are parliamentary mandates, you and I know that this composition of the State Duma will vote for the new composition of the Government of the Russian Federation.
If, for example, Lavrov decides to remain a minister or Shoygu to become deputy prime minister — plenipotentiary of the Siberian Federal District, given his idea of building new cities, then, accordingly, they will be re-approved. And the United Russia faction, which received a huge number of votes, will play the key role in this plan. And I don't see that there will be any deception here. It turns out that the faction delegates one of its members to the Government, and even to the post of deputy prime minister. But this is one of my assumptions about what options there may be. To be honest, I don't believe that all five of them will remain in the places where they worked before. They are all responsible people and understand what effect this will have. And they should have thought about it in advance, before they agreed to nominate their candidacies.
“More money should stay directly in the regions”
Can the fact that the Duma will be five-party fundamentally change the balance of power?
We are interested in ensuring the stability of the parliament's work. From this point of view, the fact that United Russia retains serious positions is good. We understand that President Putin, who enjoys a huge level of trust among the population, relies on this party when passing laws to carry out his policies. United Russia received such a large number of votes precisely on the basis that the population, even with certain doubts, believes that Russia is on the right course and it should be preserved. Another thing is that there should be a discussion on individual issues.
Is that why so many Russians voted for the New People who have been elected to parliament for the first time?
Yes. Their key position is that they demand a review of the status of inter-budgetary relations between the regions and the federation. And this is right — in my opinion, more money should remain directly in the regions, then it stimulates, creates conditions for economic growth. This is also more responsible — you collected the money yourself, and you are responsible for them. Now the process looks different — most of the money goes to Moscow, and only then they are spent on the territory, which slightly discourages the regions. It turns out that it is not necessary to earn yourself — they will still give you money. This is why New People have been elected and what exactly should be said in the new composition of the State Duma. It is not even important that the New People have only 13 mandates, it is important that someone has the right to vote.
Does that mean that the New People will defend the rights of the regions more?
In particular, the rights of the regions. And in general, they will be an opponent who is not afraid to raise sharp questions.
In my opinion, more money should remain directly in the regions, then it stimulates, creates conditions for economic growth. This is also more responsible — you collected the money yourself, and you are responsible for them.
“The leader of the LDPR is a feeble old man who should have left office long ago”
Do you associate the Communist Party's breakthrough only with the protest vote?
There are several components here. The first reason: this whole campaign was based on what United Russia was doing. As a result of the work of the United Russia, especially in the regions after the difficult pension reform, several more cases, there was a polarisation of voters. The person who agreed that yes, there were still claims to United Russia, but I would vote for them, did it. And those who did not want to vote for the United Russia, were looking for someone else to vote for. And a strange situation arose. Everyone can see that the leader of the LDPR is already a feeble old man who should have left office long ago. Accordingly, that is why the LDPR has lost votes. A Just Russia could have scored more and taken some of the votes, but for this they had to score a less diverse three. Still, in my opinion, the voter was somewhat disoriented by the triple that was presented to them.
The second why the Communists led was their complete denial of pension reform. Well, the main part is their core, the voters who traditionally vote for them. In my opinion, what went away from Just Russians — just these percentages from above went to the Communists.
“The result of the United Russia in Tatarstan is absolutely not surprising to me”
By the way, in Tatarstan, Artem Prokofyev, a representative of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, became one of the elected deputies to the State Duma, despite the fact that United Russia gained almost 80 percent in the republic…
Maybe it's not bad. We still need a discussion. Now is a period when we cannot allow ossification for the development of the political system. By the way, United Russia understands this perfectly well. The composition of the State Duma will be updated by 40 percent. And in the United Russia lists — more than 50 percent of new people, including young people who have passed through the primaries. The fact that you have a communist is probably even good. I don't know him personally, how adequate he is, because a communist is different from a communist. But if he is able to support a responsible discussion, and not just blatant criticism, then this is useful.
Tatarstan is a steadily developing region. People see this and, as they say, don't seek better. Especially when the president of the republic has such a level of trust, the president who is respected by the president of Russia.
In your opinion, why has the United Russia gain a significantly higher percentage of votes in Tatarstan compared to the whole country?
Tatarstan is a steadily developing region. People see this and, as they say, don't seek better. Especially when the president of the republic has such a level of trust, the president who is respected by the president of Russia. Minnikhanov is very deeply immersed in economic processes. He looks at how the industry is developing, understands that, in particular, taxes and jobs that provide stability are made up of this. And small businesses are already developing on this. Therefore, from this point of view, the result of the United Russia in Tatarstan is absolutely not surprising to me. Certainly, large percentages of the party are always given by the rural population. But here the principle of consolidated voting already works. All people there know each other and, as a rule, if the key people in the village have decided that it is necessary to vote for United Russia or for another party, the majority follow them. National republics traditionally show a higher result than traditional Russian-speaking ones, apparently due to the peculiarities of communication ties.