Ruling party in Russia performs badly in regional elections
On September 8 elections to regional councils were held in many parts of Russia. The ruling party (United Russia) performed badly as anticipated. United Russia lost a third of its seats on Moscow City Council and now only just holds a majority. This is a a symptom of growing public discontent with stagnating living standardsUnited Russia remains the largest party by a long way. It won all 16 gubernatorial races that were up for grabs including in St Petersburg. The other major parties are the Communist Party and the Liberal Democrats. Neither of these parties criticize President Putin who is not a member of any party. People accuse the Communists and Liberal Democrats of not being real opposition parties. Candidates who vocally oppose President Putin are banned from the election. The government has been accused of stuffing ballot boxes with votes for United Russia.