Russia elections: Vladimir Putin poised for new 6-year term | World | Ammon News

Russia elections: Vladimir Putin poised for new 6-year term

[3/18/2018 3:55:35 PM]

AMMONNEWS - President Vladimir Putin received 75 percent of votes cast so far in Sunday's election, easily winning another six-year term as Russia's leader.

Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin was in second with 13 percent, followed by nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky with 6 percent, results from the Central Electoral Commission showed with about half of all precincts counted.

Putin addressed tens of thousands on the Manezhnaya Square near the Kremlin with a short speech, thanking supporters for the election results.

"I see in this minimum a recognition for what I did in the past year under very complicated circumstances. I see in this trust and hope that we will continue to work as intensely and as responsibly," said Putin.

"We have to preserve this unity. It's very important to attract all these people who voted for other candidates to my side. We need unity in order to move forward."

Turnout was 59.9 percent, according to the commission's results. Before voting began, there were reports that Russian authorities were worried about a potential low turnout that could affect its perceived legitimacy.

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was barred from running in the elections over a fraud conviction in a court case he claims was politically motivated, called for a boycott of the vote, as did other political groups.

"It is too early to comment on the results because only 23 percent of ballots have been counted. But it is already clear that these elections weren’t fair," said Grudinin at a press conference.

"Unfortunately Navalny turned out to be right - that one could vote two or three times and we have examples of that in the Moscow region. It is clear that the counting of votes and in general all procedures of the elections were unfair."

According to independent Russian monitor Golos, various tactics that local administrations employed in order to attract more voters to the polling stations were not successful.

"Various methods of boosting turnout of the vote, which the authorities undertook, did not bring the expected results. The big number of observers around the country were deployed and that brought about a relative balance," reported the monitor on its website.

The majority of regions had similar turnout as 2012 and a few, such as Gechnya and Dagestan, turnout was slightly lower, because of the presence of observers.

The monitor registered more than 2,500 complaints of violations, with some 460 in Moscow and about 230 in St Petersburg.

State TV channel Rossiya 24 reported earlier there were complaints of violations but many were "fake".

Close to 109 million registered voters were eligible to vote in 100,000 voting stations across the 85 regions and republics of the Russian Federation. Russian citizens were also able to cast ballots in 145 countries.


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