Accessibility links

Breaking News

Putin Has Big Lead In Russian Presidential Election

Moscow, 14 March 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Polling stations in Russia's presidential election have closed and ballots in Russia's Far Eastern regions, where voting ended several hours ago, have already been partially tallied and show incumbent Vladimir Putin has a clear lead.

The head of Russia's Central Election Commission, Aleksandr Veshnyakov, told state television that initial results show President Putin with 66.5 percent of the vote. In distant second place is the Communist candidate, Nikolai Kharitonov, with just under 15 percent.

Sergei Glazev, of the Motherland Party, is in third place, with 5 percent, followed by Irina Khakamada, with just under 5 percent. Over 4 percent of voters cast ballots marked "against all candidates."

Earlier today, the Central Election Commission announced that voter turnout surpassed the required 50 percent mark for the election to be declared valid.

For the latest on the Russian elections, go to our dedicated webpage: The Russian Federation Votes 2003-04

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.