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Putin Re-elected for Second Term - 2004-03-15


President Vladimir Putin has been re-elected to a second four-year term, in a landslide.

The chief of Russias Central Election Commission, Alexander Veshnyakov, has declared President Putin the winner of Sundays election, with 71.2 percent of the vote.

Mr. Veshnyakov announced the result early Monday morning in Moscow after 99 percent of the votes had been counted. He says only one of President Putins five challengers had scored in double-digits Nikolai Kharitonov of the Communist Party. He polled 14 percent.

Far behind were Sergei Glazyev, Irina Khakamada, Oleg Malyshkin and Sergei Mironov in that order.

Turnout was reported at 64 percent -- well over the percentage needed to make the ballot valid.

In brief remarks from his re-election headquarters, President Putin pledged to press ahead with social, economic and political reforms.

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