Putin urges support for pro-Kremlin party, slams opposition

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Moscow, Nov 21 (UNI) Russian President Vladimir Putin today urged the people to vote for pro-Kremlin United Russia party in the December 2 parliamentary elections as it was crucial for the country's further development.

"In order for the future parliament and president to work efficiently, cooperating with each other for the benefit of people, we need victory," Putin told thousands of his supporters gathered in the Luzhniki sports stadium.

He said it was vital to ensure the continuity of current policy through the parliamentary and presidential polls in December and March respectively.

''The current stability, economic growth, peace, and rising, albeit moderately, living standards are the result of the continuous political struggle at home and on the world scene," Mr Putin added.

He also said some political forces inside the country were seeking support from foreign governments and funds, rather than their own people.

Criticizing the pro-Western opposition groups, he said, they were attempting to restore an "oligarchic regime based on corruption.

''They are planning to take to the streets. As they are trained by the western experts, they have gained some experience in neighbouring ex-Soviet republics, and will now try their hand here,''the President said, without specifying names or organisations.

While Mr Putin heads the United Party candidate list, he is not a party member and may choose not to take a seat in the State Duma.

He has so far declined supporters' appeals to amend the Constitution and run for a third consecutive term, at the same time refusing to be drawn to his future plans.

The latest opinion surveys put United Russia in the lead with a little under 60 per cent of popular support, slightly down on previous weeks.

The Communists and the Nationalist Liberal Democrats are the only two other parties likely to overcome the seven per cent threshold for the State Duma.


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