According to Reuters, allies of imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny have called on Russians to vote for the Communist Party in this week’s parliamentary elections to worsen the election results of the ruling United Russia party.
Navalny’s “smart vote” campaign aims to strengthen the results of political forces that can oppose United Russia, which currently occupies three-quarters of the seats in the lower house of Russia’s parliament and dominates Russia’s political life.
The initiative is one of the few things Navalny and his allies can do to influence the outcome of the election. The opposition is in prison, and related organizations have been declared “extremist” and outlawed.
“Millions of people in Russia hate United Russia,” Navalny’s ally Alexei Volkov said in a video, presenting a list of candidates running in the election who, according to Navalny’s team, have the best chance of defeating United Russia candidates. Most of these candidates are from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.
“Explain to everyone who is dissatisfied with what is happening in the country that they must go and vote in this election,” Volkov said.