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Regional Elections Cannot Be Called State Duma Election 'rehearsal' - Expert

Portion of Duma Chamber Just Following AdjournmentMarch 14 (Interfax) - The outcome of the March 13 regional elections in Russia should not be fully projected on the upcoming election of the State Duma, Deputy Director of the Center for Political Technologies Alexei Makarkin told Interfax on Monday.
[image adapted from version at www.rferl.org bearing attribution to RIA Novosti]

"Voters frequently 'punish' local chiefs in regional elections. The protest vote in regions may be linked to the local situation, rather than to the general situation in the country," he said.

At the same time, the expert did not rule out that the parliamentary election might be a referendum of confidence in the incumbent authorities.

"If Vladimir Putin tops the United Russia candidate list, the same as in 2007, the election may resemble a referendum again," the expert said.

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