In Russia to abstain from voting also expression of political preference

In Russia, as opposed to Western countries, not voting is also an expression of one's political preferences, said Regional Problems Institute Director and political scientist Maxim Dianov today at a round table in Nizhny Novgorod devoted to Presidential Elections 2004, Voting as Dialogue with Authority.

He said that like in the West, in Russia there is a group of the electorate, accounting for about 15% of the total, which doesn't vote 'because the people aren't interested in voting.' There are also parts of the electorate, which don't vote because they believe that it is a form of protest against the authorities. These people account for approximately 20-25% of the total. Therefore, about 40% of registered voters won't show up at the polling stations to vote. Nevertheless, Dianov said that the voter turnout in the upcoming presidential elections would be more than 50%.

"Presidential elections in Russia always bring out more voters than legislative elections. The appointment of a new government before the elections is also a public relations move by the president to bring out the vote on March 14," he said.

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