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    Bittersweet Victory for Russia's Ruling Party


    by NTDTelevision

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    Elections in Russia give the ruling United Russia party about 50% of the votes, but a loss of 70 seats in the State Duma or lower chamber. The results raise questions about the future of the ruling party.

    However, with under 50% of the votes, it has fallen short of the 2007 election results and is forecast to lose over 70 seats in the parliament.

    Still, the United Russia party will hold the majority of votes and will be able to adopt laws.

    Political experts in Russia say the ruling party won the battle, but lost people's hearts, because the elections were marred with numerous violations - all in favor of United Russia.

    "I would say that it is a defeat of the power vertical of the model that assumes that there are mindless people and a group of gifted, rich and decisive people who rule the latter for their own good. This ideology somehow is no longer popular."

    Political experts say that today the real voting numbers for United Russia should be no more than 35% and that additional votes were acquired through rigging.

    Russia's Ministry of Internal Affairs registered over 2,000 violations on election day.

    Election violations are not new to Russia, but this marks the first time that the Russian people have such a negative reaction to them.

    The election also showed that support for "United Russia" is spreading to the provinces and to the countryside.

    Experts believe that the party is losing the votes of the active urban population.

    "The split between the active part of society and the government took place, and whatever the electoral processes are, it does not promise anything good to current ruling party in the very nearest future."

    Some Muscovites say that the result of this vote is a sign of strengthening the dictatorship in the country.