Russia’s ruling United Russia Party which is an adherent of President Vladimir Putin, has lost one third of seats in the Moscow Parliament, RIA news agency reports.
Sunday’s poll was one of the most closely watched local level election in years as earlier candidates of opposition party were not allowed to run in the Moscow’ city legislature, citing the failure to collect enough signatures from genuine backers. The exclusion of opponent candidates had triggered the biggest protest in the country in decades.
The action was denounced as a ruse designed to stop prominent opposition politician Alexei Navalny and his allies from winning the election. However, the Moscow election was earmarked by Navalny and his allies.
Nearly complete election data cited by the RIA news agency suggested United Russia had lost around one third of the seats it previously controlled.
RIA said it was on course to control 26 of the Moscow’s parliament’s 45 seats, enough to retain its majority. In a 2014 election it did much better, winning 28 seats in its own name and a further 10 by independent candidates that it backed.
This time round, RIA said the Communist Party took seats from United Russia, reportedly winning 13, up from five last time. Two other parties, the opposition Yabloko Party and the Fair Russia Party appeared to have won three each, it said.