Political News

The Latest: Putin: Pro-Kremlin party produces good result

Posted September 18

— The Latest on Russia's parliamentary election (all times local):

9:35 p.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says that the ruling United Russia party, which early results show is winning in the parliamentary election, has produced a good result.

Putin, who was speaking at United Russia's election headquarters shortly after the polls closed, told party members that he views the early results as a vote of confidence.

Putin admitted that "things are tough" in the Russian economy, but said people see that United Russia lawmakers "are really working hard even though it does not always work."

The popularity ratings of United Russia are far lower than those that Putin enjoys. Putin isn't a member of the party nor has he formally campaigned for it.

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9:20 p.m.

Exit polling by a state-run survey agency suggests the pro-Kremlin United Russia party will win a strong majority of the nationally chosen seats in the lower house of parliament.

The poll by the VTsIOM agency was shown on state television Sunday evening as the final voting stations closed in western Russia.

It showed United Russia receiving 44.5 percent of the vote for the State Duma seats chosen by part-list. Half the 450 seats are being chosen that way. The other 225 were contested in specific districts.

The Communists and the nationalist Liberal Democrats were shown with about 15 percent of the vote each and the A Just Russia Party with 8 percent — roughly the same proportion as in the old parliament.

No other party cleared the 5-percent mark need to win party-list seats.

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9:15 p.m.

The chief of the Russian Election Commission says that she sees no reason to nullify results in any location in the country's parliamentary election.

Ella Pamfilova said in a televised briefing as the polls closed in Russia that she saw no reason to invalidate the vote in any district despite the reports of election fraud.

Pamfilova conceded, however, that the election "wasn't sterile" and added that reports of ballot stuffing were confirmed in three polling stations.

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9:05 p.m.

Russia's Central Election Commission says the very first results show the ruling United Russia party winning in the parliamentary election.

Polls closed at 9 p.m. local time (1800 GMT) in Russia's westernmost region while Russia's regions in the Far East and Siberia have been counting the ballots for several hours now.

Less than 7 percent of the ballots counted show United Russia getting about 44 percent of the vote, with the Liberal Democrat Party trailing behind with 18 percent of the vote. The results are likely to change as votes in the west of Russia are counted.

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3:30 p.m.

Complaints of election violations have been increasing as Russians vote for a new national parliament.

The voting for the 450 seats in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, wasn't expected to substantially change the distribution of power, in which the pro-Kremlin United Russia party holds an absolute majority. But the perceived honesty of the election could be a critical factor in whether protests arise following the voting.

Massive demonstrations broke out in Moscow after the last Duma election in 2011, unsettling authorities with their size and persistence.

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11:20 a.m.

Russia's elections commission head says results from voting for parliament in a Siberian region could be annulled if allegations of vote fraud there are confirmed.

Ella Pamfilova's statement came Sunday as Russians cast ballots for the State Duma, the lower house of parliament.

The pro-Kremlin United Russia party is expected to retain its dominance and the three other largely cooperative parties in the current parliament are also expected to win seats.

Russian officials are concerned that widespread allegations of vote fraud could spark protests similar to the massive demonstrations after elections in 2011.

A candidate from the liberal Yabloko party in the Altai region of Siberia told state news agency Tass that young people were voting in the name of elderly people unlikely to come to polling stations.

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