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Russia votes in parliament election without main opposition

By JIM HEINTZ
Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia has begun three days of voting for a new parliament that is unlikely to change the country’s political complexion. There’s no expectation that United Russia, the party devoted to President Vladimir Putin, will lose its dominance in the State Duma. The main question is whether it will retain its two-thirds majority that allows it to amend the constitution. Another question is whether the Smart Voting strategy devised by imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny will prove viable against United Russia. The election is crucial because the Duma being chosen will still be in place in 2024, when Putin’s term expires and he must decide on seeking reelection or choosing another way to stay in power.  

The Associated Press

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