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Russia
 

Putin-backed party sweeps in parliamentary election with low turnout

Election in Crimea is questioned by many states. Only 47% of population voted. Evangelical Christians suffer under anti-evangelism law.

SOURCES Evangelical Focus, BBC AUTHOR Evangelical Focus MOSCOW 19 SEPTEMBER 2016 15:48 h GMT+1
medvedevev, putin, election, 2016 President Vladimir Putin comments the victory of his party, United Russia, alongside colleague and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. / Reuters

Only four parties have made it into the new Russian parliament (State Duma) after the election on Sunday 1th September. All of them are loyal to President Vladimir Putin.



Only 47% of all citizens voted in this election.



Putin’s party United Russia received 54.2% of the votes and won 343 seats out of 450, up from 238 seats in the previous election (2011).



Both the Communist Party and the nationalist LDPR secured just over 13%. A Just Russia came fourth, with a 6%.



No candidates of the real opposition to the President will be represented, as they did not achieve the 5% of votes needed to enter the Duma.



 



VOTES IN CRIMEA



For the first time, people voted in Crimea, annexed from Ukraine in 2014 in a move condemned internationally. United Russia won all the region's constituency seats, in a vote that prompted protests in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.



According to the BBC, election commission head Ella Pamfilova - a respected human rights activist - said she was “fully confident that the elections are proceeding in a quite legitimate way”. But later she warned that results at three polling stations might be cancelled because of irregularities.



 



RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN RUSSIA



In July, Vladimir Putin signed a law which makes evangelism technically impossible in the country.



Evangelical Christians criticised the new law which “is not only absurd and offensive, but also creates the basis for mass persecution of believers”.



The European Evangelical Alliance asked Christians across the world to pray for “wisdom and courage” for the church in Russia. Expert William Yoder analysed the first reactions after the law came into force in this article.


 

 


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