Moscow (SaebPress) — Vladimir Putin secured a third term in the Kremlin on Sunday after recording a resounding victory at Russia’s presidential polls. “We won in an open and honest fight!” ,a jubilant Putin joined by outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev, said addressing 110,000 people, who gathered on Manezhnaya Square outside the Kremlin walls. He stressed that this victory signals a defeat for those who want to destroy Russia.We urge everyone to unite around the interests of Russia,” Putin was jubilant and very emotional.
Exit polls gave Putin almost 60 percent of the vote. His nearest rival, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov, took 17.7 percent, state pollster VTsIOM said. Early official returns showed similar numbers.
The Russian Interior Ministry acknowledged reports of violations but said they had not been sufficient to impact the result of the vote.
Election officials said the vote at a north-west Moscow polling station could be annulled over reported violations. Results from a number of polling stations in the North Caucasus republic of Dagestan were also being looked into, election officials said. Observers representing Putin’s campaign also reported a number of violations at the elections, mostly of a “technical” nature.
The mood at Putin headquarters was triumphant. “This was the cleanest election in Russian history. Early results of 61 percent are a pleasant surprise. We were expecting 58 percent, there will be no second round.” Putin’s campaign Chief Stanislav Govorukhin said.
“This was more than just a presidential election this was a very important test for us; a test for political maturity of our people and independence. We have demonstrated that nobody can impose anything on us we have shown that our people are capable of telling the difference between the desires for novelty and progress from political provocations that pressure with only one goal; to destroy Russia. Today our people have proved that such scenarios are not going to work in our country. We will work honestly and intensely and we will achieve success we encourage you all to unite for the benefit of our or nation and out homeland.” Putin said.
Putin’s main rival Gennady Zyuganov trailed in second with 17.8 percent. Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Mikhail Prokhorov came in third and fourth respectively with 8 and 7.6 percent, while Sergei Mironov was fifth with 3.7 percent, early results showed.
The results mean that Putin will return to the Kremlin where he was president for two terms from 2000-2008.