Putin's United Russia party wins in Par elections

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Moscow, Dec 3: President Vladimir Putin's United Russia party has won a landslide victory in parliamentary elections.

With 30.2 per cent vote counted yesterday, the United Russia party received 63.6 per cent of the vote, the chairman of the Russian Central Election Commission Vladimir Churov told reporters.

Chursov said according to the preliminary data, the Communist Party received 11.3 per cent, the ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party 9.6 per cent and Just Russia 7.2 per cent.

No other parties reached the seven per cent threshold needed to enter parliament.

Churov said the voter turnout in the State Duma election was around 60 per cent, compared to 55.75 per cent at the 2003 Duma elections.

The United Russia party chairman and Duma speaker Boris Gryzlov said the results were a victory for Putin, who topped the party list.

Gryzlov said the party would not use its overwhelming parliamentary majority to force changes to the Constitution.

Reacting to the results, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov said the Party will mount a legal challenge to the results, citing alleged voting irregularities.

''A group of our lawyers have already begun preparing lawsuits for the Supreme Court to contest the results of voting, without waiting for the vote count,'' the head of the Party's legal service Vadim Solovyev told a news agency.

''The barrage of violations exceeds all acceptable norms,'' Solovyev added.


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