Russia election: Putin’s party heads for victory amid vote fraud claims


Votes are being counted in Russia’s parliamentary election, which has been dogged by allegations of fraud. Early results put President Vladimir Putin’s party in the lead, and an exit poll predicted a resounding victory.

The Kremlin’s most vocal critics were barred from running, and there have been numerous reports of ballot stuffing and forced voting. The election commission has dismissed the complaints, saying they are part of a well-financed campaign from abroad. Polling stations closed on Sunday evening following three days of voting. In its initial set of results, the election commission said that with 9% of ballots counted nationwide, the United Russia party had won more than 38% of the vote. An exit poll conducted by Insomar and published by Russia’s Ria news agency predicted that the party would win just over 45% of the vote.(BBC)…[+]