Monday, September 15, 2014

Russian libertarian elected to Moscow council

Second-Ever Libertarian Elected in Russia - Hit & Run : - Zenon Evans:

September 15, 2014 - "The people of Russia have spoken, and they have elected a libertarian.

"Or, at least, 662 individuals cast ballots for Russian Libertarian Party Chairman and independent candidate Andey Shalnev in the Moscow regional council race.

"That might not sound like much, but at 28.36 percent of the vote in the Pushkino District, he received the second-most votes, which earns him the seat as the deputy councilman of a district with over 100,000 constituents.

"Shalnev, who has been party chairman since 2010, is the second-ever Libertarian Party member to be elected to office in Russia. The first, Vera Kichanova ..., describes Shalnev as 'a principled politician' and his victory as 'huge for our team.'

"Getting here wasn't easy. Russia is already ranked by Freedom House as 'not free' (and getting worse) and Vladimir Putin is engaging in a major crackdown on Russia's political opposition, independent journalists, and social media activists. This almost certainly puts Shalnev in the crosshairs. The candidate claims there was 'in comparison with previous elections, an increased ... percentage of early voting' that he believes is the result of 'systematic vote-buying of alcoholics, local [hooligans] and needy pensioners.' People were paying these individuals 200 rubles (about $5.25) to vote for the candidate of Putin's United Russia Party."

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