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Poll Shows Russians Lose Interest, Faith In Elections

Moscow, 28 April: The people of Russia currently show less interest in the parliamentary election due in December than (in the run-up to the previous election) in 2007, though more people expect changes for the better following the election, sociological studies have shown.

Of the 1,600 people polled, 55 per cent said they were not interested in the upcoming election, and 40 per cent said they were, sociologists from the Yuriy Levada Analysis Centre told Interfax on Thursday (28 April) following a nationwide survey held in April. Four years ago, sociologists recorded an exact opposite proportion in the run-up to the State Duma election: 55 per cent of Russian people were interested, and 41 per cent were not.

Answering another question, 43 per cent of respondents expressed the hope that their lives would change for the better after the election, while 52 per cent said they did not believe that it would (four years ago, the figures were 30 and 60 per cent respectively).

Fifty per cent of those polled expect the upcoming parliamentary election in December to be "more likely dirty", with the use of pressure on voters, machinations with ballot papers, etc., while 32 per cent, on the contrary, expect an honest contest between parties for seats in parliament.

Furthermore, just over a quarter (28 per cent) of respondents believe that the election in December will be a "truly all-people's election", while the majority (57 per cent) believe that "bureaucratic clans will be fighting for access to the state budget".

The Levada Centre poll showed that 32 per cent of people would not object to one party gaining the majority of seats in the State Duma required to pass any laws. A much larger proportion, 49 per cent, do not want this practice.

Only a quarter (26 per cent) think it necessary for the Russian Federation to have one strong ruling party, most (47 per cent) are convinced that there should be two or three major parties, and 12 per cent would like to see "many relatively small parties". Another 5 per cent of respondents believe that the country does not need political parties at all.

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