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Ahead in the count, Kremlin party United Russia celebrates victory

The Kremlin party United Russia already celebrated its victory in Moscow after the first votes of the country's parliamentary elections had been counted, while the opposition spoke of election fraud.

The Kremlin party United Russia already celebrated its victory in Moscow after the first votes of the country’s parliamentary elections had been counted, while the opposition spoke of election fraud.

“Rossiya, Rossiya!” people shouted in the streets of the Russian capital with flags of the Kremlin party on Sunday evening despite rain.

“We are Putin’s team,” activists loyal to the Kremlin shouted. Party officials said at an appearance that Putin’s course would continue. The outcome of the election was a “day of celebration,” Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said.

With almost 55 per cent of the votes counted, the Kremlin party came in with 46.6 per cent of votes, according to the election commission.

Putin did not go to the campaign headquarters in Moscow because he is in self-isolation after contact with dozens of people infected with coronavirus, but is doing well, the party said.

The communists received 21.3 per cent, while the right-wing populist LDPR party of the ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky are set to take 8 per cent and the A Just Russia party 7.6 per cent, according to interim figures from the electoral commission.

They are all considered parties loyal to the system. The New People party also hopes to make it over the 5-per-cent hurdle. According to the first results, it achieved some 6 per cent.

The opposition around the imprisoned Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny spoke of electoral fraud.

Russia‘s massive three-day election – which sees 450 seats in the country’s lower house, the State Duma, up for grabs – was marred by complaints of widespread violations.

Election officials in Russia have received at least 750 complaints about violations during the country’s parliamentary vote over the past three days, the Interior Ministry said, according to Interfax news agency.

The independent observers of the Golos organization have listed thousands of irregularities nationwide, most documented with photographs and video footage.

The Central Election Commission announced that it would investigate the complaints. By Sunday morning, more than 7,000 ballots had been cancelled, it said.

Supporters of jailed Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny, who is ineligible to run in this or any Russian election due to his criminal record, had been calling for a tactical protest vote against United Russia.

However a tactical voting app launched by Navalny’s team was removed from Google and Apple stores on Friday.

Navalny was also not allowed to vote in the Russian parliamentary election, according to the authorities.

According to Russian law, legally convicted people are barred from voting in elections, the deputy head of the penitentiary system, Valery Boyarinev, said on Sunday, according to the Interfax agency.

Around 110 million people in Russia and abroad were called to vote for the new Duma.

The election commission stated that the turnout was 45 percent in the evening. On Monday it should be communicated how many people actually went to vote.

People are also able to cast their ballots online, something Russian President Vladimir Putin has apparently done himself.

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