With more than a half of all ballots counted, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin received 64.72 percent of the vote in Russia’s March 4 presidential elections, the Russian Central Election Commission (CEC) said. Putin needs to surpass the 50% threshold to win in the first round and avoid the runoff.
His main rival Gennady Zyuganov received 17.10 percent of the vote. Independent candidate Mikhail Prokhorov comes third with 6.99 percent, beating Russian political veteran Vladimir Zhirinovsky (6.37 percent). The A Just Russia party candidate and former Federation Council speaker Sergei Mironov received 3.74 percent of the vote.
The average election turnout stands at about 64 percent, CEC Chairman Vladimir Churov said.
03:15 05/03/2012 MOSCOW, March 5 (RIA Novosti)
Neither U.S. President Barack Obama nor European Union leaders have congratulated Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on his victory in the country’s presidential elections, which some western observers said were «clearly skewed» in his favor.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said the results of Sunday’s vote were «never in doubt.» Activists and opposition groups have also alleged massive fraud.
Stanislav Govorukhin, Putin’s campaign chief, described the election as «the cleanest in Russian history.»