December 5, 2011- Nearly 60% of the registered voters in Russia went to the polls on Sunday to cast their ballot. The outcome was not what current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had hoped for. His party lost the crucial two-thirds majority it had held in parliament. That was very damaging to Putin who is running for president in next year’s election.
The communists, once thought to have no future after the dismantling of the Soviet Union over 20 years ago, were able to produce a strong opposition to Putin. The communists attracted a number of intellectuals, students and some businessmen to their ranks.
Putin’s party walked away with about 50% of vote, down from the nearly 65% in the elections of 2007. These results mean United Russia will have to work together with the communists and other parties that made inroads in the election.
By Monday morning in Russia over 95% of the vote had been counted. The communists were claiming the elections were very corrupt and full of violations. The head of the party said reports were coming in from everywhere in the country about violations taking place by the ruling party.
Government critics said that for many weeks leading up to the elections that widespread abuses and violations were expected and many online social networks were reporting them the entire day.