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Kadyrov Leads With 97 Percent Of Vote In Chechnya

Partial results show that the leader of Russia's North Caucasus region of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, is leading with more than 97 percent of the vote in the September 18 election of the regional head.

With more than 15 percent of the ballots counted, Russia's Central Election Commission (CEC) said on September 19 that the other candidates had secured less than 2 percent of the vote each.

These candidates included Chechnya’s business ombudsman Idris Usmanov, Gairsolt Batayev of the Communist Party, and Sultan Denilkhanov of A Just Russia.

Kadyrov, 39, has led Chechnya since March 2007. In the last several months, he has run the region as the acting head after his term officially expired in April.

Activists have blamed Kadyrov and his paramilitary forces for serious rights abuses, including widespread use of kidnapping, torture, and extrajudicial murders.

Based on reporting by Interfax and RIA