United Russia, backed by President Vladimir Putin, has won a majority in the country’s parliamentary election, far ahead of rival parties.With 93% of the votes counted, the party has secured 54.2% of ballots and 343 seats in the 450-member parliament, officials say.Mr Putin said his party had “achieved a very good result”, however the turnout was a record low 47.8%.The Communist Party and nationalist LDPR both secured just over 13%.The party A Just Russia gained just over 6% of the votes. All four parties are loyal to Mr Putin and dominated the last parliament, or State Duma.
Mr Putin has enjoyed 17 years in power as either president or prime minister.Voting irregularities were reported in several areas and the head of the election commission suggested that the results might be cancelled in three polling stations.Liberal opposition parties failed to get enough votes for party-list representation. “To my utmost regret, not one other party managed to get over the 5% barrier,” said Central Election Commission head Ella Pamfilova.
The two main opposition parties allowed to field candidates, Yabloko and Parnas, received just 1.89% and 0.7% respectively.Half the seats were also being contested in constituencies but even there the small number of opposition candidates failed to win.The result increases United Russia’s majority after it 2011 success in Duma elections. The party, led by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, will also take more seats in parliament, up from 238.However, the turnout, based on partial figures, was the lowest in Russia’s modern history and significantly down on the 60% turnout in 2011.