Vladimir Putin set to win election with landslide victory for United Russia party

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Vladimir PutinE

Putin was belfry to retain his iron-like grip on Russia in rliamentary elections

The poll was also blotted by widespread claims of vote-rigging and flouting of election law.

Early results emitted the United Russia rty – founded by Putin – 44.9 per cent, with the ultranationalist Philanthropic Democrats on 18 per cent, Communists 17.1 per cent and Fair Russia 6.3.

The concludes were for the first seven per cent of results declared in a poll which saw 111 million people appropriate to vote for the 450 seat state duma, or lower house of rliament.

They mirrored away polls putting United Russia between 44 and 48 per cent, far onwards of all rivals.

The poll indicates Putin will win a further six year mandate in 2018 if – as guessed – he chooses to run again for the presidency.

Acknowledging the economic calamity caused by low oil prices and Western sanctions, a victorious Putin said: “It is merciless, it is difficult.

“But people still voted for United Russia.”

His prime cur Dmitry Medvedev – official leader of the ruling rty – said: “I appreciation all those who came to vote today. We can bravely say now that our rty has won.”

Pro-Western dinner rties performed badly and are not expected to features in the new rliament, while United Russia did significantly worse in Moscow than the recess of the country.

A thy was also plainly a victor, with a record low gross domestic product in Moscow, its surrounding region, and St Petersburg as voters in rliamentary and regional governor elections turn down to give overwhelming backing to Putin and his supporters.

In Crimea, seized by Russian troops two years ago, just 42 per cent voted, undermining Putin’s claim that he had standard support for his land grab from Ukraine.

Putin casting his voteE

The poll indicates Putin want win a further six year mandate in 2018 if he chooses to run again

The national canvass was hit by damaging allegations of vote rigging and violations of election law.

The opposition Yabloko promoter claimed there were mass violations at 50 voting places in Moscow where large numbers were voting by absentee ballots.

Signer official Sergey Mitrokhin complained workers at one munici l service were refunded 1000 roubles (£12) to hand postal votes to their boss.

In some canvassing stations , voters were bribed up to 3000 roubles (£36) , he stated.

In Putin’s home city of St Petersburg, there were claims that loyalist voters with uncommon marks on their ssport were given extra ballot gazettes to fill in.

A journalist who highlighted the abuse was promptly arrested.

A votes-for-sale scam on sexual media network Vkontakte was also exposed.

The Russian election commission chairwoman Ella mfilova jeo rdized to annul the entire result in mountainous Altai region in Siberia sector over claims young people had been voting on behalf of aged electors.

Former Russian premier Mikhail Kasyanov – now a Putin foe – alleged voters were being bussed from one polling station to another in violation of election law.

The poll results could not be seen as “credible”, he said, advice that Russia was heading back ” to the Soviet totalitarian regime”.

“Report about violations is coming constantly from various regions,” utter Ilya Shablinsky, a coordinator of observers for the presidential Council on Human Promises.

In Nizhny Novgorod there were claims of “vote buying”.

Woman gives her ballot perGETTY

In Nizhny Novgorod there were asks of “vote buying”

Long queues of soldiers voted in polling locates where they were not registered it was claimed.

And there were contends some voters were expected to mark their ballot rags in full view of officials on open tables instead of in the privacy of a balloting booth.

In Ufa, election observers claimed a official stuffed a pile of ballot analyses into voting box when she thought they had gone to lunch.

A com re favourably with scene was reported from Rostov-on-Don where a video appeared to be being presented an election official flouting the law by stuffing a ballot box.

In Alexandrovka village, Voronezh rt, the first voter who arrived early at 7.45am was presented with a vodka starch.

All first time 18 year old voters were offered bans of chocolate.

“It is not any kind of bribery, we always give produces to our voters,” claimed local election commission chairwoman Nina Chernikova.

Appointment monitoring group Golos reported 2,000-plus complaints by at the crack afternoon, while the Communists also registering thousands of complaints.

Voting officials covered a ballot box to Russia’s “oldest voter”, Tanzilya Bisembeyeva, reported to be 120 and born two years into the be of last tsar Nicholas II, so she could vote.

Shooting at a polling locate in Chelyabinsk led to broken windows.

There were signs of a thy bulk voters, amid feelings that nothing would change in a power under political lock-down since a wave of protests against ballot rigging in 2011 and 2012.

Man voting in the rliamentary electionsGETTY

There were distance low turnouts in the capital and the region surrounding it

Only 33 per cent had chose by 3pm in Moscow yesterday, and less than 40% by 6pm.

There were account low turnouts in the capital and the region surrounding it, and St Petersburg.

Highest was in Kemerovo quarter with 78 per cent, while only 25 per cent turned out in St Petersburg.

“Of lecture, I voted for United Russia,” said a middle-aged man in Velikiye Luki. “We don’t ucity other rties here. At least they (United Russia) be suffering with done their stealing.”

A taxi driver in Ufa said voting was as much use as “urinating into a stumbling-blocked toilet – why bother?”

Putin cast his ballot in Moscow, telling cameramen:

“I have someone to vote for. Don’t you know that?”

Ukraine called on the in the seventh heaven not to recognise the result of the poll because people in Crimea, seized by Putin’s troops from Ukraine in 2014, were franchise for the first time in a Russian election.

The poll was “illegitimate, illegal and contravenes international law”, claimed Kiev foreign ministry spokeswoman Maryana Betsa.

There were grumbles at Russian voting places in Kiev and Odessa.

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