Russia: Vladimir Putin’s party wins elections with 54.2% voteshttps://indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/russia-vladimir-putins-party-united-russia-wins-elections-with-54-2-votes-3038663/

Russia: Vladimir Putin’s party wins elections with 54.2% votes

The Liberal Democrats party secured 13.3 per cent of the votes, the Communist Party got 13.5 per cent and Just Russia party got a mere 6.2 per cent of vote share.

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Election officials empty a ballot box at a polling station during the counting of votes for Russian parliamentary elections in St.Petersburg, Russia. (AP Photo)

Vladimir Putin’s party United Russia on Monday won the elections by securing parliamentary majority with 54.2 per cent votes. Russia’s election commission announced the numbers after 90 per cent of votes were counted.

The Liberal Democrats party secured 13.3 per cent of the votes, the Communist Party got 13.5 per cent and Just Russia party got a mere 6.2 per cent of vote share.

United Russia benefits from its association with 63-year-old Putin, who after 17 years in power as either president or prime minister, enjoys a personal approval rating of about 80 percent, opinion polls show.

Most voters do not see any viable alternative to Putin and his allies, and they fear a return to the chaos and instability of the 1990s, the period immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union, if his rule ends.

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Many voters are persuaded by the Kremlin narrative, frequently repeated on state TV, of the West using sanctions to try to wreck the economy in revenge for Moscow’s seizure of Crimea, the Ukrainian region it annexed in 2014.

Yevgeny Korsak, a 65-year-old pensioner in the city of Saransk, 600 km (375 miles) south-east of Moscow, said he had voted for United Russia “because it is strong and powerful.”

Putin has said it is too early to say if he will go for what would be a fourth presidential term in 2018. If he did and won, he would be in power until 2024, longer than Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, the longest-serving Soviet leader aside from Joseph Stalin.

The election is the first time that voters in Crimea are helping decide the makeup of the Duma.