Russia’s ruling United Russia party has won the country’s general election.
The Central Election Commission said it won nearly 50 percent in Sunday’s vote for seats in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament. After the last election in 2011, which United Russia won 49 percent, there were large protests in the capital Moscow over alleged vote-rigging.
In terms of parliament seats, that translates as 343 out of a total of 450 according to the Russian electoral commission which gave those figures after 93% of ballot papers had been counted.
An hour after the polls closed the President Vladimir Putin was at the party’s headquarters alongside Prime Minister and party leader Dmitry Medvedev to heap praise on campaign staff.
Putin said the result was proof that United Russia is the leading and best political force because it’s doing its best for people but he also warned the party could not rest on its laurels as people are struggling in their daily lives.
Early figures suggest only around 40 percent of the 110-million eligible voters took part in the poll; but still enough to maintain the ruling party’s large grip on parliament’s lower house.
Our correspondent in Moscow Galina Polonskaya said: “Even if first comments at United Russia HQ were prudent, there’s less and less doubt that this party remains the undisputed leader. The main struggle now is between the contenders for silver and bronze. The full picture should emerge before noon on Monday.”