Russian presidential election over, Putin leads

Russian presidential election over, Putin leads

PanARMENIAN.Net - A mixed crowd of politicians and media personalities welcomed an expected victory for Vladimir Putin Sunday, March 4 night in an upbeat event at his campaign headquarters in central Moscow, according to RIA Novosti.

Applause filled the main hall as Elections Commissioner Vladimir Churov announced that Putin won close to 62 percent of the vote so far as ballots continue to be counted.

Putin's nearest rival, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov, took 17.7 percent, state pollster VTsIOM said.

No other candidate has so far gained more than 10 percent.

If he results of the exit polls are confirmed, Putin, 59, will be inaugurated as new president in May and will serve for six years, not four as previously.

The elections took place to the backdrop of mass demonstrations that were triggered by allegations of vote fraud in favor of Putin's United Russia party at December's parliamentary polls.

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