March 15, 2010, midnight
Prime Minister Vladimir PUTIN'S United Russia Party led regional elections last Sunday, but observers pointed to opposition gains in key races. Despite widespread allegations of fraud, United Russia's overall vote share declined since the last elections in October, with the party winning majorities in half as many oblasts this time. In the city of Irkutsk, a Communist Party candidate won by nearly 35 points. After the October elections, opposition parties boycotted Parliament for a week in protest of fraud.