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Russia: Communists, Unity Tied In Vote Count

Moscow, 20 December 1999 (RFE/RL) -- With 67 percent of the vote counted, the Communist Party and the pro-Kremlin bloc Unity are almost tied at 25 percent each. The electoral commission announced that the Communist Party is just a fraction of a percentage point ahead of Unity. In third place is Fatherland-All Russia with 9.7 percent of the vote. Fourth-running is the Union of Right-Wing Forces with 8.7 percent of the vote. Also clearing the five percent threshold needed for Duma seats are the bloc of nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, with 6.4 percent, and the liberal Yabloko party with 5.9 percent. In Moscow mayoral elections, incumbent Yuri Luzhkov is leading with 71 percent of the votes after three-quarters of the ballots have been counted. Challenger Sergei Kiriyenko is trailing with 11.4 percent.