Russia. Kremlin loses regional votes amid anger over pension reform
Russia’s ruling party suffered two rare defeats in regional elections this weekend as its candidates lost to nationalists amid widespread discontent over a pension reform backed by President Vladimir Putin.
A second round of governorship elections was held in two key regions Sunday, after support for the pro-Kremlin United Russia party saw its strongest decline in a decade during the first round on September 9.
Vladimir Sipyagin, of the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), won 57 percent of the vote in the Vladimir region, 190 kilometres (120 miles) northeast of Moscow.
He defeated the incumbent United Russia governor Svetlana Orlova, who obtained 37.5 percent of the vote, results showed on Monday.
United Russia also lost to nationalists in the far eastern Khabarovsk region, where LDPR candidate Sergei Furgal won nearly 70 percent of the vote against current governor Vyacheslav Shport.
Sunday’s runoff votes were held after the United Russia candidates failed to win at least 50 percent of the vote in the first round.
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