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Putin defends fairness of election, vows to develop economy

(Xinhua)

08:18, December 16, 2011

MOSCOW, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin defended fairness of the state Duma, or the lower house of parliament election and vowed to develop the country's economy in his annual televised call-in on Thursday, the 10th in his political life.

During the four-and-half-hour live show, Putin answered 88 questions ranging from elections to domestic and international affairs.

A large proportion of the questions were about the recent parliamentary elections on Dec. 4, when the United Russia, whose leader is Putin and whose candidates list was led by President Dmitry Medvedev, gained an absolute majority in the new State Duma, or the lower house of parliament.

Putin said he has been "fed up with these questions" and stressed the results of the polls reflected the views of Russian voters.

"If you are saying that our elections were objective and fair, in my opinion, I have already said publicly that, beyond any doubt, the results of these elections reflect the actual line-up of forces in the country, as well as the fact that the ruling force -- United Russia -- has lost certain positions," Putin said.

He added that he had ordered web-cameras be installed at all polling stations during next March's presidential election, in which Putin is widely expected to win.

In the show, Putin confirmed again that Medvedev would become prime minister of Russia after next March's presidential election.

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