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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

United Russia Targeting Big Voting Blocs

United Russia's faction in the State Duma is seeking to amend the election law to maintain its lock on power and stymie other parties, including the other pro-Kremlin party, A Just Russia, from capturing seats.

The amendments would, in effect, allow United Russia to concentrate its resources in the country's six largest regions -- Moscow, the Moscow region, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Rostov-on-Don and Krasnodar -- senior United Russia member and Deputy Duma Speaker Oleg Morozov said, Kommersant reported.

The amendments would force other parties to compete head to head with United Russia's best-known candidates -- for example, Mayor Yury Luzhkov and City Duma Speaker Vladimir Platonov.

This would make it nearly impossible for other parties to beat United Russia in these races.

Under current law, parties are required to field multiple party lists in cities with more than 3 million people, which has the effect of thinning the number of first-tier United Russia candidates and giving other parties a better chance of beating United Russia's lesser known candidates.

United Russia, which maintains a two-thirds majority in the State Duma, does not plan to introduce the amendments for consideration until after the March 11 regional parliamentary elections, Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported, quoting Alexander Moskalets, the chairman of the Duma's Constitutional Law Committee.