Putin's party keeps majority in Duma

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 05, 2011 14:00 hrs

Moscow, Dec 5 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's United Russia party has won 238 of 450 seats in elections to the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, marking a significant drop compared to 315 seats won in the 2007 poll, the Central Election Committee said Monday.

With votes from about 95 percent of polling stations counted, the result is a far cry from the commanding two-thirds constitutional majority the party held in the State Duma for the past four years.

The outcome contradicts Sunday's exit poll results which predicted the party as failing to win a majority in the elections.

Other parties which crossed the entry barrier will receive more seats than in 2007. The Russian Communist Party (KPRF) came in second, taking 92 seats (compared to 57 seats in 2007); and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) scored 56 seats, increasing its presence by 16 seats.

The A Just Russia party will have 64 deputies in the State Duma, 26 more than during the previous parliamentary elections.

The results of the polls have already sparked a wave of strong criticism from internet users citing massive fraud and violations.

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