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October 24, 2012


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Alexander Mercouris

Dear Gordon,

Low turnouts are characteristic of local elections in many countries including Britain.

In my opinion it simply doesn't do to try to explain the dismal opposition failure in these elections by election malpractice. Incidentally if it was the case that these elections show a lack of belief in the electoral system that might supposedly encourage people to turn to street protestone would expect some actual signs of this. In fact none of the places where these elections took place have been centres of protest, which has so far been overwhelmingly concentrated in Moscow.

Local elections in most countries are usually fought and decided over local issues and I have no doubt that this was the case in these elections. That probably explains the anomalous votes in different places and why local politicians who were once associated with United Russia but which have since fallen out with the party were able to win mayoral elections in a number of places. This does not translate into support for the opposition at regional or gubernational let alone national level. What these elections I am afraid show is that from the KPRF in a few places and the KPRF breakaway the People's Party of Russia in a very few others the opposition such as it is is simply irrelevant at local level.

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