Russia election: Putin’s party wins election marred by fraud claims

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Russian President Vladimir Putin’s party has won a parliamentary majority following an election marred by reports of fraud. With almost all of the votes counted, the United Russia party had won nearly 50% of the vote, marking a slight drop in support from the previous election. Mr Putin’s biggest critics were barred from running, and there were reports of ballot stuffing and forced voting. Russia’s electoral commission rejected claims of widespread irregularities. With more than 99% of votes counted, United Russia’s closest rival, the Communist Party, had about 19% of the vote, according to the election commission. United Russia’s victory means it will have more than two-thirds of the 450 seats in the country’s parliament, officials say. However, despite easily retaining its majority in parliament, the party did lose some ground. In 2016, the party won 54% of the vote.(BBC)…[+]