MOSCOW, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Russia's ruling United Russia party won an overwhelming victory in Sunday's parliamentary elections with over 54 percent of the vote, enabling a constitutional majority in the State Duma.
Analysts say the party's electoral victory amounts to a vote of confidence in Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Despite challenges at home and abroad, a constitutional majority in the lower house of parliament for Putin's party is expected to bring continued political stability in Russia and a successful presidential race in 2018.
UNITED RUSSIA DEMONSTRATES POWER
According to preliminary results released Monday by the Central Election Commission (CEC), with an increase of 105 seats, United Russia boasts 343 seats out of the 450 in the new State Duma, or more than the two thirds needed for a constitutional majority.
The Communist Party won 13.43 percent of the votes, the Liberal Democratic Party won 13.25 percent and Just Russia 6.18 percent, while the other parties failed to reach the five-percent threshold to enter parliament.
United Russia last enjoyed a constitutional majority in the 2007-2011 State Duma, with 315 seats. With such a majority, it can amend constitution or veto a presidential impeachment.
The Sunday results exceeded earlier predictions for the 15-year-old party at a time of economic difficulties worsened by sanctions by western countries and fiercer political competition to enter parliament lowered from the seven percent threshold to the current five.
"It means that the people see that delegates from United Russia, the leading political party, are really working for them. Maybe they don't always succeed, but they are working honestly and as efficiently as they can," Putin said.
The party's leader and head of the Russian government, Dmitry Medvedev, noted that the party has always fulfilled its promises, and made no promises it was unable to keep.
An opinion poll conducted before the elections by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center showed 78 percent of Russians support Putin and 52.5 percent Medvedev's administration.
However, commenting on the parliamentary elections, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov called the turnout of one third of eligible voters as "a very alarming signal."8
GOOD SIGN FOR PRESIDENTIAL RACE
The Sunday elections were seen as a prelude to the upcoming 2018 presidential race.
Analysts reckoned that losses by United Russia in the vote would boost the political power of the opposition and likely harm a safe transfer of presidential power in the future.
Yet it remains unclear whether or not Putin will run for another presidential term. As one of the most influential and trusted politician in modern Russia, Putin has been crucial in helping United Russia remain in power since 2003.
He said in an interview with Bloomberg before the election that it was too early to speak about Russia's presidential race since a lot depends on the outcome of the Duma vote.
Many Russians believe that with a strong United Russia, Putin is very likely to win in 2018.
Regardless of Putin's decision, analysts believe economic recovery will remain the toughest challenge for Moscow.
MOSCOW, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Exit polls showed that Russia's ruling party the United Russia led in Sunday's election of the lower house of the parliament with 44.5 percent of votes.
The other three parties that gained enough votes to enter the seventh State Duma are the Liberal Democratic Party with a projected 15.3 percent of votes, the Communist Party with 14.9 percent and A Just Russia with 8.1 percent, according to the exit poll conducted by the All-Russia Center for Public Opinion.Full story
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- The election of the 7th State Duma of Russia started on early Sunday, the Russian news agency TASS reported.
The first polling stations were opened in the easternmost Kamchatka and Chukchi peninsulas at 08:00 a.m. (0600 GMT), said the report.Full story