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Support for Russia’s Ruling Party Drops to 10-Year Lows, Poll Says

Andrei Nikerichev / Moskva News Agency

Support has dropped to 10-year lows for the ruling United Russia party as public anger simmers over government plans to raise the retirement age.

On Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin signed into law unpopular measures to increase the pension eligibility age of men to 65 and of women to 60. Analysts have attributed recent election setbacks of four Kremlin-backed governors to the electorate’s discontent over the reform.

If new State Duma elections were to take place this Sunday, only 31 percent of respondents said they would back United Russia, according to the state-funded FOM pollster’s figures published Friday.

The results mark a 20-point drop for the party since January and its lowest levels of support since 2008.

Since the government announced plans to raise the retirement age this summer, FOM showed United Russia’s support drop from an average of 49 percent in January-May to less than 36 percent in June-September.

By contrast, the systemic opposition Communist and Liberal Democratic (LDPR) parties’ popularity has climbed from single digits to 14 percent this year.

FOM conducted the survey among 3,000 respondents in 73 Russian regions on Sept. 29-30.

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