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Russia: Early Results Show Pro-Putin Party With Large Lead

Moscow, 7 December 2003 (RFE/RL) -- First partial official results released by Russia's electoral commission give a big lead in today's parliamentary election to the Unified Russia party, which supports President Vladimir Putin. The results -- from just 2.4 percent of voters in the Far East -- show United Russia with over 36 percent of the vote.

Second was the ultranationalist Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) of Vladimir Zhirinovskii, with 15.6 percent, followed by the Communists with 13.2 percent.

However, an unofficial exit poll, conducted by the Public Opinion Foundation for Russia's Channel One state television, and based on a geographically wider sample of voters, gives a different result. It also puts Unified Russia well in the lead, but puts the Communists in second place ahead of the LDPR.