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Majority of Russians in Baltics back United Russia in Duma election

  • 2016-09-19
  • BNS/TBT Staff

RIGA/TALLINN/VILNIUS - Over half of Russians residing in the Baltic States voted for the ruling United Russia party in the elections of the Russian State Duma last weekend, the three capital cities’ Russian embassies have revealed.

Latvia

13,832 Russian citizens living in Latvia took part in the elections, the Russian Embassy in Riga told BNS. 10,425 or 75 per cent of them cast their votes for United Russia, President Vladimir Putin's political party.

1,138 voters supported the Communist Party of Russia, and 567 cast their votes for the Liberal Democratic Party.

The Civilian Power party was the least popular, with a mere three votes.

Preliminary results indicate that United Russia won 54.28 per cent of overall the vote. The Communist Party is second at 13.61 per cent, the Liberal Democratic Party third with 13.37 per cent, and A Just Russia has taken 6.17 per cent of the vote. Preliminary results show that other parties failed to clear the 5 per cent threshold.

Lithuania

Over half of Russian citizens who voted in Lithuania backed United Russia, preliminary results indicate.

Putin's party was supported by 55 per cent of Russian citizens who came to the polls, Moscow's embassy to Vilnius informed BNS on Monday.

The embassy noted that approximately 10,000 of Russian citizens living in Lithuania were eligible to vote in the elections and 2,770 did so.

The Communist Party earned 14.7 per cent of the votes and the Liberal Democratic Party won 8.4 per cent. The results have yet to be verified by Russia's Central Election Commission.

The embassy made no comment as to how Russian citizens elsewhere voted.

Russian citizens were able to vote at polling stations in four Lithuanian cities and towns, including Vilnius, Klaipeda, Siauliai, and Visaginas.

Estonia

Russian citizens who voted in Estonia generally supported United Russia as well.

"The overwhelming majority of Russian citizens living in Estonia backed the ruling United Russia party," a spokesman for the Russian embassy in Tallinn told BNS today. "It is the traditional preference of Russian citizens abroad, as this is the party they first and foremost associate with the Russian state.

"According to our provisional vote count, the Communist Party of Russia came next. This characterises the age structure of voters, as most of the voters who came to the polls were of an advanced age," the spokesman remarked.

Other parties won significantly fewer votes. The precise count is expected later in the day.

In two days of voting approximately 11,000 Russian citizens cast ballots in Estonia.

In the capital Tallinn and the southern city of Tartu over 5,000 Russian citizens came to the polls, BNS learned from spokespeople for the Russian embassy. Russian voters in Tallinn were able to vote in advance on Saturday also, whereas no advance voting took place in Tartu as embassy spokespeople mistakenly said on Saturday. In the city of Narva, where four polling stations were opened for Russian citizens living in northeastern Estonia, over 5,000 voters participated in the two days.

The Russian embassy established nine polling stations altogether for the around 85,000 Russian citizens eligible to vote in the State Duma elections in Estonia, four in Tallinn and Narva each, and one in Tartu.

In advance voting on Saturday about 1,000 Russian citizens participated — 671 in Narva and over 300 in Tallinn.

In the previous State Duma elections in December 2011, 19,000 out of 125,000 eligible Russian voters came to the polls in Estonia.