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World Briefing / Russia

Elections favor ruling party, draw criticism

March 03, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's party racked up commanding leads in local elections that nongovernmental parties and independent observers said were awash in widespread voting violations.

The United Russia party held huge advantages in all nine regional parliamentary elections as well as in thousands of municipal votes, according to preliminary results from the Central Elections Commission.

Russia's only independent election monitoring organization, Golos, or Voice, alleged "mass violations" in several regions. The Central Elections Commission said in a statement that there were no serious violations.

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