Recall that participation in the “primaries” is a prerequisite for the nomination of United Russia candidates for elections at different levels. From May 22 to 28, the party conducts electronic voting, for which more than 2.8 voters have registered. Senator Sergei Perminov, deputy head of the United Russia General Council, said that the average competition to participate in elections to legislative assemblies is 7.5 people per seat, and among potential participants in by-elections to the State Duma, 20 people per seat. He also pointed out that the preliminary vote not only helps to choose the best candidates, but is also a kind of “zero race”, a rehearsal prior to the start of the electoral campaign.
However, other Russian parties are hesitant to hold such votes.
“If we talk about why other parties do not use this format, then, firstly, they have no desire, and secondly, there is no way to prove to voters the purity of their selection system,” Aleksey Malinin believes. “Apparently, not everything is so smooth in other parties, and they cannot ensure such a system for themselves when candidates are chosen openly, and not according to an incomprehensibly agreed list,” the expert added.
“I think they are just afraid,” said Alexei Martynov, director of the Institute for Recent States. “This is the fear of looking in the mirror. Because you don’t always see what you want in the mirror. And the mirror doesn’t lie, that’s all,” he said. Martynov believes that an open system immediately shows what a candidate is really doing: political struggle or political business.
Remember that the intra-party preliminary voting system has existed in United Russia since 2007. As Sergei Perminov said, more than 16,000 candidates and almost 2.7 million voters have registered for the primaries this year. Voting takes place on the pg.er.ru portal until May 28. The names of the winners will be announced next week. The selected candidates will represent United Russia in multilevel elections on September 10.