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Russia election: Vladimir Putin wins by big margin
 
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19-Mar-2018  
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Vladimir Putin will lead Russia for another six years, after securing an expected victory in Sunday's presidential election.

With almost all the ballots counted, he had received more than 76% of the vote, the central election commission said.

The main opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, was barred from the race.

Addressing a rally in Moscow after the early results were declared, Mr Putin said voters had "recognised the achievements of the last few years".

Speaking to reporters, he laughed off a question about running again in another six years.

"What you are saying is a bit funny. Do you think that I will stay here until I'm 100 years old? No!" he said.

The scale of victory - which had been widely predicted - appears to be a marked increase in his share of the vote from 2012, when he won 64%.

Mr Putin's nearest competitor, millionaire communist Pavel Grudinin, received about 12%.

The race also included Ksenia Sobchak, a former reality TV host, and veteran nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky - they got less than 2% and about 6% respectively.

A state exit poll put the turnout at over 60%. Mr Putin's campaign had hoped for a large turnout, to give him the strongest possible mandate.

His campaign team said it was an "incredible victory".

"The percentage that we have just seen speaks for itself. It's a mandate which Putin needs for future decisions, and he has a lot of them to make," a spokesman told Russia's Interfax.
 
 
Source: BBC
 
 

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