Russia has announced official results of the parliamentary election held on December 2.
The Central Election Commission Saturday said President Vladimir Putin's United Russia Party won more than 64 percent of the vote. This gives the ruling party 315 seats in the 450-seat lower house of parliament (State Duma).
The Communist Party won 57 seats. The pro-Kremlin Liberal Democratic Party won 40 seats. Fair Russia got 38 seats. The other parties did not win enough support to gain parliamentary representation.
Opposition leaders have said controversial new election laws virtually guaranteed a majority for the ruling party. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said the elections took place in an atmosphere of harassment and intimidation of the opposition.
Moscow has rejected foreign and domestic criticism of the vote
Also Saturday, the opposition People's Democratic Union nominated former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov as its candidate in the presidential election next year. According to the new electoral law, Kasyanov has to collect two million signatures from supporters in order to run, because his party did not win any seats in parliament.
President Putin dismissed Kasyanov from the prime minister's post in 2004.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP.