Putin’s party scores crushing win in parliament vote
MOSCOW: Russia’s ruling United Russia party has cruised to an easy victory in parliamentary polls that could pave the way for President Vladimir Putin to glide to a fourth term in 2018 elections, partial results showed.
Sunday’s ballot for the 450-seat State Duma was smooth sailing for authorities desperate to avoid a repeat of mass protests last time round and eager to increase their dominance as Russia faces the longest economic crisis of Putin’s rule.
But a low turnout suggested that many Russians may have been turned off by a system in which the Kremlin wields neartotal power, which could raise questions over legitimacy.
“We can announce already with certainty that the party secured a good result, that it won,” Putin said after polls closed.
“The situation is tough and difficult but the people still voted for United Russia,” he said on state television.
With 90% of the votes counted, United Russia had 54.3% of votes, securing at least 338 seats in parliament, up from 238, results announced early yesterday showed. – AFP