“Dmitry Medvedev's hasty lobbying for early elections is also caused by the growing popularity ratings of new parties,” say some Russian media outlets. “They are quite capable of taking away a large part of the United Russia’s electorate in a year. Therefore, this political force might be irrevocably ‘buried’.”
The fact that the Kremlin and the government are well aware of the growing protest potential in Russia has been widely discussed in recent weeks. Opposition politicians, political scientists, and even economists have repeatedly noted that the crisis and the fall in the ruble exchange rate, triggered by the collapse of oil prices, got worse after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and global recession, as well as after rather strict restrictive measures in Russia.
As a result, experts say, people have been loosing their jobs and incomes, and their standard of living is significantly reduced. Therefore, protest moods are growing among the residents while the popularity ratings of the government are declining.
In this regard, some sources believe that the Kremlin might hold an early election to the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament. Allegedly, they will likely take place in December this year. Moreover, chances are Dmitry Medvedev, former Russian Prime Minister, will become the speaker of the State Duma of the new convocation. This statement was made by the popular Telegram channel @kremlebezBashennik with reference to unnamed sources in the Russia’s Presidential Administration, the State Duma itself and the inner circle of former Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. “Three sources are confirming at the same time that the Kremlin is seriously considering the idea of holding early parliamentary elections this year,” says the @kremlebezBashennik Telegram channel.
Situation is Rapidly Changing
At the same time, the Telegram channel makes a reminder that initially the United Russia party tried to initiate early elections to the State Duma. However, Vladimir Putin personally opposed this idea then. According to him, there is no consensus on this issue, because not all factions are ready for the election or want it at all. Apparently, the Russian President was referring to the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF,) which argued against the initiative first voiced by Aleksandr Karelin from United Russia.
At present, the CPFR altered its opinion. In addition, the expenses for organizing early parliamentary elections are included in the federal budget of this year. Since the branches of power will get fundamentally new powers, and new requirements will be specified for deputies, the formal grounds for holding them might appear after voting on amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation.
Along with it, the @kremlebezBashennik Telegram channel says that the early election is not likely to be held on a single voting day in September, as previously predicted, but in December of this year. Notably, a specific political decision on the issue this issue has already been made. Moreover, the technical basis for organizing the elections has also been prepared.
In this regard, the authors of the Telegram channel predict that in the foreseeable future, representatives of the United Russia might become more active getting into the political agenda more often on two important issues for Russia – providing social support for the residents during the pandemic and strengthening the economy. It is emphasized that as before, the initiative to hold early elections came again from Dmitry Medvedev, the chair of the United Russia party. He is highly likely to use his deputy mandate in the upcoming elections and to take the post of speaker of the State Duma.
“Dmitry Medvedev's hasty lobbying for early elections is also caused by fact that the popularity ratings of new parties are increasing,” says some Russian media outlets. “They are quite capable of taking away a large part of the United Russia’s electorate in a year. Therefore, this political force might be irrevocably “buried.”