Russian authorities in the occupied regions of Ukraine plan to hold elections for the first time, on the 8-10 September 2023, in parallel with those held in the Russian Federation. Voting has already started in Zaporizhzhia and Mariupol.
Whilst over 1,000 candidates have been indentified, there is a lack of qualified, experienced, and willing candidates according to some reports. There is also an absence of independent candidates that are not members of the Kremlin endorsed parties, indicating that these will not be free or fair elections. The Ukrainian Centre of National Resistance claims that the occupation administrations have significantly overstated the number of voters on the electoral register.
Kremlin polls indicate United Russia, the dominant political party in the Russian Federation, is predicted to gain 80 per cent of the vote in the four occupied regions. The United Russia party will likely command the majority of seats in an attempt to secure the Kremlin’s hold and influence over the occupied regions.