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Putin's Party Ahead in Russian Elections


Putin's Party Ahead in Russian Elections
Putin's Party Ahead in Russian Elections
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Preliminary results from Sunday's local and regional elections in Russia indicate a strong showing for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's party -- but the opposition is claiming widespread fraud.

Central Elections Commission official Leonid Ivlev said vote counts Monday show Mr. Putin's United Russia party won nearly 80 percent of the local races. These include elections for mayors and regional and city legislatures.

In Moscow, the pro-Kremlin United Russia has 66 percent of the vote for city council. The opposition Communists are second, with 13 percent. Other parties failed to reach the seven-percent mark needed to secure a seat.

At least one party -- the liberal Yabloko party -- says it will appeal the election results.

Election officials are expected to release final results later this week.