Backgrounder: Major parties competing in Russia's State Duma elections
Backgrounder: Basic facts about Russia's State Duma elections
|Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (L) and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meet members of the United Russia party and its supporters at the party's headquarters in Moscow, Russia, Dec. 4, 2011, after the conclusion of the country's sixth parliamentary elections. (Xinhua/RIA Novosti)
MOSCOW, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- The ruling United Russia Party retained a much-reduced majority in Sunday's parliamentary election, according to Russia's Central Election Commission (CEC).
The CEC said Monday that, with 95.71 percent of the votes counted, United Russia had gained 49.54 percent.
CEC Chairman Vladimir Churov said the party would have 238 of the 450 seats in the State Duma, or the lower house of the parliament.
In the previous election in 2007, United Russia won 64.3 percent of the vote, gaining 315 seats and holding a two-thirds majority in the State Duma.
Churov said the Communist Party got 19.16 percent of Sunday's vote, A Just Russia party garnered 13.22 percent and the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) 11.66 percent.
He said the Communist Party would have 92 seats, A Just Russia 64 and the LDPR 56.
The official said the turnout for the 6th Duma elections was 60.2 percent, higher than previous forecasts. The commission predicted before the elections that 55 percent of the 110 million eligible voters would cast ballots.
The other three parties contesting the election, the Yabloko, the Patriots of Russia and the Right Cause, secured less than 4 percent of votes each, the CEC had said earlier.
Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky said Monday he would contest the results, which gave the Yabloko a 3.3-percent of the ballots, far below the 7-percent threshold needed to gain a seat in the Duma.
Under Russia's electoral laws, the State Duma's 450 seats are distributed on a proportional basis to all parties that receive at least 7 percent of the vote.
After the CEC announcement, United Russia's General Council Presidium Secretary Sergei Neverov said it was a victory that the ruling party won an absolute majority in the State Duma, which would help the party better support the president and the prime minister.
"We affirm that the United Russia party has the moral right to carry out the policies of President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin," Neverov said.
He said the party also didn't rule out the possibility of cooperating with other parties entering the new Duma on some issues.
"Coalitions and blocs are a civilized and inseparable part of the parliament's activity. We think that the opposition is not our enemy. If its position coincides with ours, why don't we vote for some decision together after we hold consultations?" he said.
Late on Sunday, President Dmitry Medvedev, who led the party's list in the elections, also confirmed United Russia would have to join a coalition with other political parties on certain issues in the new Duma.
United Russia, established in December 2001, is Russia's dominant party, with more than 2 million members. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the most influential political figure in Russia, has been its leader since May 2008.
On Sunday, Russia's voters cast their ballots in some 94,000 domestic polling stations in Russia and about 370 overseas stations in more than 140 countries.
According to the CEC, about 1 percent of the votes were declared invalid.
Video>> Russia ruling party support falls in Duma election
Medvedev considers poll a victory
Exit polls suggest four Russian parties enter new Duma
MOSCOW, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Exit polls on Sunday showed that Russia's four parties, including the ruling United Russia, the Communist Party, the Liberal Democratic Party and A Just Russia, have gained enough votes to enter the sixth State Duma.
The other three parties running for the Duma seats fail to clear the 7-percent threshold, according to the exit poll conducted by the All-Russia Center for Public Opinion (VTsIOM). Full story
Russians parliamentary elections conclude
MOSCOW, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Voters across Russia cast their ballots in the country's sixth parliamentary elections on Sunday, with seven political parties vying for slots in the 450-seat State Duma, the lower parliamentary chamber.
In the vast country split by nine time zones, as voters in the western regions including the capital Moscow began to cast their ballots at 4:00 GMT Sunday, polling was already in full swing in Siberian and Far East regions of Kamchatka, Chukotka, Magadan and Sakhalin, where voting started at 8 a.m. local time on Sunday (20: 00 GMT Saturday). Full story