Even though allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin comfortably won a parliamentary election on Monday, but low turnout indicates lowering of enthusiasm for the ruling elite 18 months before the next presidential election. The ruling United Russia party won 51% in elections on Sunday, soon after a quarter of the votes had been counted.
This development will now allow the party to dominate and have an overwhelming majority in the lower house of Parliament or Duma.
“We can say with certainty that the party has achieved a very good result; it’s won,” Putin said at the United Russia headquarters, where he arrived together with his ally, Dmitry Medvedev, who is prime minister and the party’s leader.
Alluding to the spluttering economy, which is forecast to shrink this year by at least 0.3 percent, Putin said: “We know that life is hard for people, there are lots of problems, lots of unresolved problems. Nevertheless, we have this result.”
There were reports of voting irregularities from some places and a Reuters report said that at one polling station in the Mordovia region of central Russia, several people had cast their ballot, then came back later and voted again. Election chiefs said were was so far no evidence of large-scale cheating