Putin's United Russia party takes a hit at the polls
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's United Russia Party lost seats at Russia's parliamentary election last Sunday. This time, United Russia got just 49.5 percent of the vote, as opposed to 64 percent in the election 4 years ago. Part of the slide is based on the perception that the United Russia party is corrupt, and part of it is the Russian people's increasing discomfort with Putin's continued hold on power.
Despite making gains, the opposition still claim that the election was rife with irregularities. An election watchdog group, Golos, claimed many people were bussed from station to station so that they can vote multiple times with absentee ballots. Golos and other news sites reporting on the irregularities were hacked on Sunday.
Putin is slated to run for President again in March 2012. His popularity with the Russian people is on the wane, but he is still expected to win the election.
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