Sunday, December 4, 2011

Polls setback for Putin's party

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's United Russia party has seen a sharp drop in support in parliamentary elections.

With 96% of votes counted, the Central Election Commission said United Russia had just under 50% of the vote, down from 64% in 2007.

The vote is being seen as a popularity test of Mr Putin, who is running for the presidency in March.

Opposition parties have complained of violations of election laws.

Russia's only independent monitoring group, Golos, says it has logged 5,300 complaints alleging violations of election laws.
'Violations and fraud'

Electoral Commission head Vladimir Churov said United Russia should have a slim majority, with 238 seats out of 450.

This would mean the party had lost its current two-thirds majority which allowed it to change the constitution unchallenged.

Mr Churov said the Communist Party was in second place with 19.2% of the vote, giving it 92 seats.

A Just Russia was in third place with 13.2% and 64 seats, and the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) had 11.7% and 56, he added. Learn More...

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