The upcoming election season in Krasnodar only looks deceptively quiet. It would seem that only by-elections to the City Duma, which will determine the holders of five mandates. And it seems that any result will not affect either the arrangements in the political establishment of the city, or the general economic course.
But the upcoming vote could be a test run for Krasnodar's new electoral system, which will have global implications for the city's new administration.
While the mayor of the regional capital, Yevgeny Naumov, is focusing on the construction of new social facilities and attempts to correct the distortions in the urban planning policy of the former leaders of Krasnodar, the communists and the New People are realizing their intention to take revenge for previous losses.
The Krayizbirkom has not yet announced the recruitment of candidates for the new composition of the precinct election commissions, and the regional branches of the parliamentary parties of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, A Just Russia and New People are already actively recruiting caring citizens to become members of the PEC.
And, judging by their reports to the leadership of the parties, there is a result, the chances that people who are not ready for compromises with the authorities will appear in the future composition of the precinct election commissions are quite high. This will deprive election officials of the opportunity, if necessary, to "work on the results" from the available to the desired indicators.
Three authorized members of the PEC, independent of the administration, and up to 18 observers at the polling station under the current legislation - this situation threatens to become a new reality for the chairmen of precinct election commissions for the next five years. It is for this period that the composition of the PEC is formed, during this period the elections of the President of Russia, the Governor of the Krasnodar Territory, the new composition of the Krasnodar City Duma, the Legislative Assembly of the region and the State Duma of the Russian Federation will be held.
According to experts with practical experience in conducting election campaigns, for a start, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and the New People will become active players in the by-elections to the City Duma in the fall of 2023.
The most stable and tough members of the commissions are being trained for the polling stations in the districts where the voting for candidates will take place, because after the elections to the Legislative Assembly of the Territory in September 2022, both the Communists and the New People have big claims as to the voting results , and to the method of counting votes.
The Communist Party of the Russian Federation, which usually had a stable rating of about 10%, received only 3% of mandates in the Legislative Assembly, and the New People could not get only 0.12% to pass their candidate.
Since A Just Russia does not show clear ambitions in these by-elections, strengthening its primary structures for participation in the 2025 elections, and the LDPR continues to search for its identity after losing its leader in the person of Vladimir Zhirinovsky, these parties will nominate technical candidates, but money will not be invested in campaigns will become. This means that there is no gap in the votes of protest voters, which gives the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and the New People the opportunity to conclude an informal alliance and separate their active candidates into different districts.
It must be taken into account that in elections in single-mandate districts, an unexpected result is always possible. The ability to win over voters can take precedence over the administrative resource, especially in the absence of the opportunity to "earn the result."
There are already precedents. For example, to win the elections to the City Duma in 2020, the deputy from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation Oleg Kunda needed only 102 to 123 votes at his polling stations. At that time, United Russia did not manage to bring its voters, despite all the possibilities and efforts, it was not possible to organize the necessary indicators and after the fact - the communists simply worked more actively with voters in the districts and "outstayed" United Russia on the vote count.
Since the constituencies in the elections to the City Duma are small, the Communists will have enough resources to close all five constituencies with surveillance this time. There are enough stubborn candidates who are ready to meet with voters every day and collect votes in their piggy bank. The experience of organizational work, inherited from the CPSU, remained with the CPRF.
The likelihood of developments not in favor of United Russia will increase if business representatives, who are now moved away from city processes, want to help candidates not from the party in power with money. I must say that there are such entrepreneurs in Krasnodar.
For United Russia, worthy electoral campaigns are a thing of the past, there are no specialists with relevant competencies left in the regional branch of the party, and election budgets are mastered by a narrow circle close to the leadership.
In the Department of Internal Policy of Krasnodar, there are practically no employees with experience in conducting election campaigns “on the ground”. And the reliability of the assurances of the internal political bloc of the city that the situation is under control, and the population favors the authorities, is very doubtful.
This is evidenced by the example of the former mayor Yevgeny Pervyshov. When at 20 In 2020, in the elections to the City Duma, the headquarters of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation under the leadership of Alexander Safronov suddenly managed to get their unplanned candidates through four single-mandate constituencies, the reaction of the system led to the fact that Pervyshov was offered to change his occupation. Instead of leading a city with a million people, he had to go to work in the State Duma, where there are incomparably fewer opportunities.
The upcoming by-elections to the City Duma of Krasnodar will become an indicator of the mayor's office's readiness to hold the presidential elections in 2024. The loss of the ability of the administrative apparatus to achieve the planned results in the elections will be a signal, the reaction to which will come immediately.
In this situation, a trip to the deputies for candidates from United Russia may become more expensive. After all, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and New People will be able to bill for passing points, and United Russia, when such high stakes are at stake, will have nothing left but to pay for the desired result in large sums. After all, the result, indicating a loss of controllability, in the current situation can be fatal for the local authorities.
If the administrative candidates are defeated in at least half of the districts, in the building on Staraya Ploshchad, the mark of Krasnodar will fill with an alarming red color, the city of a million people is no joke to you. Perhaps it is difficult for Mayor Yevgeny Naumov to personally manage the electoral processes in the city because of the workload. But no one can take responsibility from him. Moscow does not believe in tears!
To be continued