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Vladimir Putin Returns To Power In Russia

March 4, 2012 by staff 

Vladimir Putin Returns To Power In Russia, Vladimir Putin won a resounding victory in Russia’s presidential election on Sunday, exit polls showed, securing a new six-year term in the Kremlin and a mandate to deal with opposition protests after a vote that opponents said was marred by fraud.

Two television exit polls, released after voting ended at 1700 GMT, forecast the prime minister would win 59.3 and 58.3 percent of the votes, easily enough to make a runoff against the second-placed candidate unnecessary.

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His nearest rival, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov, fell short of 20 percent in both exit polls. Zyuganov said his party would not recognise the official results of the election, calling it “illegitimate, dishonest and untransparent.”

Putin’s swiftly dismissed fraud allegations, which will be repeated at opposition protests starting on Monday.

“This is the cleanest election in Russia’s entire history,” said Stanislav Govorukhin, his campaign chief. “The violations our rivals and the opponents of our president will now speak of are laughable.”

Official results are not expected from most polling stations until Monday.

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