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Russia: Putin Elected President

Moscow, 27 March 2000 (RFE/RL) - Vladimir Putin has been elected president of Russia. The Central Election Commission declared Putin the winner after preliminary results gave him more than 52 percent of the vote with 94 percent of the votes counted. That's enough to guarantee him victory in the first round. Commission chief Aleksandr Veshnyakov said the results will not change significantly. Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov held second place, with 30 percent. In a distant third was Yabloko party leader Grigory Yavlinsky, with 5.8 percent. Aman Tuleev finished fourth (3.07 percent) and ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky was fifth (2.3 percent). Election officials said the voter turnout was nearly 69 percent. Putin told reporters there is a deep level of dissatisfaction in Russia, but he warned voters not to expect quick miracles from his future administration.

Zyuganov accused the government of falsifying results to give Putin victory in the first round.