Commenting on the results of the Parliamentary elections in Russia on Sunday 18 September, ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen said: “The Duma elections were yet another Putin show, without a free and fair chance for the opposition.”
“The historic low turnout is a very evident and clear silent protest of the Russian people against the oppressive regime of Vladimir Putin and that their vote wouldn’t make a difference,” he added. “Yabloko and Parnas are both members of the ALDE Party and will continue to receive ALDE moral support in their continued fight to bring liberalism and a vibrant democracy to Russia.”
“The international community should not recognise the elected Duma members from Crimea, as this territory is still illegally occupied by Russia.”
Despite endeavouring to operate within an extremely tough environment, liberal opposition parties Yabloko and Parnas – both members of the ALDE Party - finished the night without a single Duma representative, and without the promise of any state funding for future campaigns which will further stifle their ability to voice opposition. Early indications suggest that Yabloko passed the threshold and enter regional parliaments with results of the regional elections run in parallel to be confirmed during the course of the day.
Both parties have pointed to very low turnouts in their traditional urban strongholds of Moscow and St. Petersburg, two cities where widespread protests were held after vote tampering in the 2011 parliamentary elections, followed by a Kremlin crackdown and mass arrests. Already, video footage of vote tampering and allegations of irregularities have emerged suggesting that other outside factors may have influenced the vote.