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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Turnout in Russia's parliamentary polls up on 2003

RIA Novosti

02/12/2007 19:24 MOSCOW, December 2 (RIA Novosti) - As of 5:00 p.m. Moscow time (2:00 p.m. GMT) on Sunday, 54.8% of Russia's electorate had voted in the parliamentary elections, the Central Election Committee (CEC) announced.

CEC Secretary Nikolai Konkin said that so far the voter turnout is significantly above the level seen in 2003. During those elections, the figure had reached 44.2% as of 5:00 p.m.

Preliminary voting results and exit polls are set to be announced at 9:00 p.m. Moscow time (6:00 p.m. GMT), soon after the last polling stations close in the westernmost part of Russia, the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad.

Russia is holding the fifth parliamentary polls of its post-Soviet history. The election is expected to cement the pro-Kremlin United Russia party's position for the next four years.

The only other parties expected to overcome the 7% threshold required to enter parliament are the Communist Party, the ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party, and A Just Russia, led by Kremlin loyalists.

The president's decision to top United Russia's party list has given the bloc a major boost. Vladimir Putin, who has overseen eight years of rapid economic growth and the reemergence of Russia as a key player on the world stage, retains high popularity ratings among the core electorate.

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