Putin party leads Russia polls with 46%: early results

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Russia's ruling party was leading the country's legislative elections with 45.9 percent of the vote based on over 17 percent of the precincts reporting, the central election commission said Sunday.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's United Russia party was ahead of the Communist Party, which was placed second with 20.7 percent of the vote, the commission said.

The ultra-nationalist Liberal Democratic Party was coming in third with 14.3 percent while the populist A Just Russia group had 13.3 percent of the vote.

The four parties, all members of the outgoing State Duma lower house of parliament, were the only ones to break through the seven-percent vote barrier necessary for proportionate party representation in the chamber.

Veteran liberal politician Grigory Yavlinsky's Yabloko party trailed in fifth place with 2.6 percent of the vote, the early results showed.

Election commission chief Vladimir Churov said the first official results will be reported after more than 99 percent of the ballots are counted, possibly on Monday.

© 2011 AFP

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