Russia's regional elections - Attack of the clones
Arvamus 16 Mar 2011  EWR
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A.O. | MOSCOW, Eastern Approaches, Economist.com
IN THE absence of real politics in Russia, elections, like much else in the country, are an imitation of the political process. They are always won by United Russia—a special purpose vehicle designed by the Kremlin to consolidate its power. With the exception of the toothless Communists, all the parties represented in the Duma are integral parts of the political system set up by the Kremlin.

Yet the regional elections held on Sunday deserve some attention, not least because some see them as a dress rehearsal for a parliamentary vote in December and a presidential election the following March.

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