Vladimir Putin records comfortable victory in Presidential elections
According to official results, with 99% of the votes tallied, Mr Putin won more than 76%, with his nearest rival, millionaire communist Pavel Grudinin receiving about 12%.
Speaking to reporters after the results were announced, 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 race also included Ksenia Sobchak, a former reality TV host, and veteran nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky – they got less than 2% and about 6% respectively.
Mr Putin’s 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.
During polling day, independent election monitoring group Golos reported hundreds of irregularities, including voting papers found in some ballot, boxes before polls opened, observers were barred from entering some polling stations, and. some people were bussed in amid suspicion of forced voting
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