Early results in Russian election suggest lead for pro-Putin party

Results from nearly 9% of the country’s polling stations give the United Russia party 38% of the vote for the 225 deputies apportioned by party lists.

A man casts his ballot at a polling station at the Kazansky railway station during the Parliamentary elections in Moscow, Russia (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP)
A man casts his ballot at a polling station at the Kazansky railway station during the Parliamentary elections in Moscow, Russia (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP)

Voting has ended in Russia’s parliamentary election and the country’s elections commission says early results from a limited number of polling stations show the country’s Kremlin-loyal United Russia party in the lead.

Results from nearly 9% of the country’s polling stations give the United Russia party 38% of the vote for the 225 deputies apportioned by party lists, according to the commission.

Another 225 will be chosen by individual races.

The fragmentary results leave it unclear whether the United Russia party, which firmly supports President Vladimir Putin, will retain the two-thirds majority in parliament it has now that allows it to change the constitution.

Voters cast their ballots at a polling station during the Parliamentary elections in Krymsk, Krasnodar region, Russia (AP)
Voters cast their ballots at a polling station during the Parliamentary elections in Krymsk, Krasnodar region, Russia (AP)

The election on Sunday lacked significant opposition presence after authorities declared organisations linked to imprisoned Alexei Navalny, the Kremlin’s most prominent foe, to be extremist.

The voting was also marred by numerous reports of violations, including ballot-stuffing.

The early results showed three other parties that almost always vote for Kremlin initiatives returning to the State Duma parliament, as well as the New People party, which was formed last year and is regarded by many as a Kremlin-sponsored project.

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