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People's Daily Online>>Foreign Affairs

China to further ties with Russia after Duma poll

(China Daily)

10:00, December 06, 2011

BEIJING / MOSCOW - The results of Russia's parliamentary election will benefit the country, and China will further bilateral ties after Sunday's polling, China's Foreign Ministry said.

"We believe that the election results will be beneficial for Russia's social unity, national stability and economic development," ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular news briefing.

China respects the choice of the Russian people, and will work with the Russians to push forward the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, he said.

Russia's ruling United Russia party has won nearly half the votes of the 95.71 percent of ballots that have been counted, according to Russia's election watchdog, the Central Election Commission (CEC).

United Russia may gain 238 of the 450 seats and enjoy a majority in the State Duma, or the lower house of the parliament, according to the CEC.

However, the party received nearly one-third fewer votes than in 2007 and fell short of the 315 seats it secured in the last Duma election.

President Dmitry Medvedev, who took office in 2008 when former president Vladimir Putin stepped down after serving a maximum two consecutive terms, made a brief appearance with Putin at a meeting at United Russia headquarters late on Sunday.

Medvedev said United Russia, which had previously held a two-thirds majority allowing it to change the constitution without opposition support, was prepared to forge alliances on certain issues to secure backing for legislation.

"This is an optimal result which reflects the real situation in the country," Putin, 59, said. "Based on this result we can guarantee stable development of our country."

The Communist Party, which for most Russians evokes images of bemedalled war veterans and the elderly poor deprived of pensions, drew students, intellectuals, even some business people in this poll.

The communists made big gains in the election, doubling its vote to about 20 percent, according to the CEC.

Official projections put the left-leaning Just Russia on 64 Duma seats, up from 38, and Vladimir Zhirinovsky's nationalist LDPR on 56, up from 40.

Xinhua-Reuters

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