Moscow: The pro-Kremlin party ‘United Russia’ seems to be getting an edge in the preliminary results of the parliamentary elections in Russia on Sunday. According to the Election Commission, ‘United Russia’ has got 45 percent of the votes according to the results of counting in about 30 percent of the country’s polling stations for 225 candidates of different parties. It is not yet clear whether the United Russia party, which strongly supports President Vladimir Putin, will be able to secure a two-thirds majority in parliament. Only on the basis of these data will it be able to make changes in the constitution.
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The general election is being seen as Putin’s attempt to tighten his grip on power ahead of the 2024 presidential election. Control over the Parliament (State Duma) would prove to be extremely important during the presidential election. Sunday’s election lacked a significant opposition presence after Russian officials declared an organization linked to the Kremlin’s most prominent opponent, Alexei Navalny, an extremist. At the same time, there are allegations of rampant rigging in the general election, including bogus voting, inadequate security and pressure on election observers. Ahead of the election, Putin expressed hope that the United Russia party would retain its dominance in parliament, where it currently holds 334 of the 450 seats.