"On September 18, 2016, Russians will go to the polls to elect the State Duma, the lower house of parliament. Russia's last parliamentary elections in December 2011 triggered a wave of protests against electoral fraud and heralded the rise of a revitalized opposition against the government of President Vladimir Putin. Five years later, expectations of democratic change have subsided. The ruling United Russia (UR) party is poised to win an even larger majority than before, with most other seats going to loyal opposition parties. Parties genuinely in opposition to the government are expected to win only a handful of seats. [...] Russia's parliamentary elections are not likely to lead to a new round of democratic revival. Russia's ongoing economic difficulties have begun to lead to small-scale protests across the country. For now, however, these protests do not show signs of catalyzing any new kind of political movement. Meanwhile, within the Russian government, the trend is less one of accommodating a broader array of political elites (as the UR primaries would suggest) than tightening President Putin's direct control over a hierarchy of loyal followers. Changes to the system may be occurring, but mostly from within."
|Report Number:||CRS Insights, IN10573|
|Publisher:||Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service|
|Retrieved From:||Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html|