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Russia's ruling party leading in parliamentary elections


10:51, December 05, 2011

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (L) and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meet members of the United Russia party and its supporters at the party's headquarters in Moscow, Russia, Dec. 4, 2011, after the conclusion of the country's sixth parliamentary elections. (Xinhua/RIA Novosti)

MOSCOW, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- The ruling United Russia party headed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin took the lead in Sunday's State Duma elections, the Central Election Commission (CEC) said Monday.

Putin's party won 50.08 percent of the vote after 80 percent of the ballots were counted, said the commission.

The United Russia was followed by the Communist Party with 19.23 percent.

A Just Russia party garnered 12.98 percent, compared with 11.74 percent for the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia.

Two exit polls suggested earlier that the same four parties could enter the new Duma and Putin's ruling party might lose majority in the lower house of parliament it has enjoyed for years.

Andrei Vorobyov, chairman of United Russia's central executive committee, told reporters that the party loses nothing no matter what the final results will be.

"We have lost nothing. We have once again gained the most valuable thing a political party may ever hope for -- the trust of the voters," he said.

"We have confirmed our leading positions," he added.

The three other small factions -- the Yabloko, the Patriots of Russia and the Right Cause -- secured less than 3 percent of votes each, according to the CEC.

Under Russia's electoral law, the State Duma's 450 seats are distributed on a proportional basis to all parties that receive at least 7 percent of the vote.

In addition, any party with 6 percent to 7 percent of the vote gains two seats, and a party with 5 percent to 6 percent secures one seat.

The United Russia party won 64.3 percent of the vote in 2007 elections, gaining 315 seats and holding a two-thirds majority in the State Duma.


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