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Russia: Yeltsin Meeting Senior Officials Following Election

Moscow, 21 December 1999 (RFE/RL) -- President Boris Yeltsin is meeting today senior officials to discuss the results of Russia's parliamentary elections. With over 91 percent of the vote counted, the Communists were leading in the party-list vote with 24.5 percent, and projections showed the party would again be the single biggest bloc in the 450-seat Duma. Narrowly behind the Communists - with 23.8 percent of the party-list vote - came the centrist Unity party, which had given its backing to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

The Communists and Unity were followed closely by the Fatherland-All Russia bloc of Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov and former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, with 11.9 percent. The Union of Rightist Forces led by another former prime minister, Sergei Kiriyenko, got 8.6 of the party-list vote.

Both the pro-reform Yabloko party and the nationalist Zhirinovsky bloc each had more than six percent. No other party or political bloc had so far managed to pass the 5 percent threshold to get seats in the lower house.

Independent and centrist candidates were leading in the majority of the single-mandate races which make up the other half of the Duma's 450 seats.