Putin votes in parliament polls

By IANS/RIA Novosti,

Moscow : Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin voted Sunday in the parliamentary elections widely seen as a test for him and his ruling United Russia party.

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Putin arrived at polling station No. 2079 at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow in the afternoon, saying he was in a good mood on the voting day.

By the time of Putin’s arrival, over 250 out of 1,450 eligible voters had cast their votes at the polling station, said Vladimir Zorin, chairman of the district electoral commission.

Putin greeted the staff, received a ballot paper and went into the polling booth. Minutes later, he came up to the electronic ballot box where the chairman of the district electoral commission briefed the prime minister on how to cast his ballot.

When asked about what he expected from the election, Putin said he wanted his United Russia party to achieve a good result.

As for the voter turnout, he said he expected more voters to come to the polls than during the parliamentary elections in 2007.

Till noon Moscow time (0900 GMT), the turnout was over 12 percent in Moscow and 11 percent across Russia, the Central Election Commission said.

Seven political parties are competing for representation in the Duma.

But public opinion polls suggest that only four of them — United Russia, A Just Russia, the Communists and the Liberal Democratic Party — are expected to win enough support to get seats in the State Duma.

Putin is a candidate in the Russian presidential elections scheduled for March, 2012.