Putin’s party scores crush­ing win in par­lia­ment vote

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

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

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