The Prime Minister of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, was re-elected as Chairman of the United Russia party, as reported on the party’s Twitter account. The voting took place on January 22 at the party conference. Medvedev was nominated without opposition. The Prime Minister has been the Chairman of United Russia since May 2012.
Speaking before voting, Medvedev stated that opposition parties could use regional elections scheduled for the 10th of September 2017 in order to effectively begin a presidential campaign at an early date. “Our party shouldn’t respond to provocations and be involved in political intrigues,” Medvedev said.
The Russian Prime Minister added that United Russia, which has a constitutional majority in the lower house of the Parliament (Russian State Duma), controls the central government and majority of regional administrations, and is a main political resource of the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin. Russia conducted parliamentary elections in September 2016. The presidential elections are scheduled to take place on 11th of March 2018.
The Russian parliamentary elections of the Seventh Convocation were held on September 18, 2016 under a mixed system. The Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation approved the results of parliamentary elections on September 23. United Russia received 343 mandates.
Moscow decided to hold elections in the territory of the annexed Crimea, which caused strong criticism from Kyiv and Western countries. A number of nations, including the United States, Canada, France, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Germany, Turkey and the Czech Republic refused to recognize the legitimacy of elections that were held in the territory of the annexed Crimea.
The Polish Foreign Ministry has called into question the legitimacy of parliamentary elections as a whole. On September 20, 2016, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a resolution on non-recognition of the legitimacy of elections in the annexed Crimea and the whole membership of the Russian State Duma of the Seventh Convocation.