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普京获绝对多数选票即将开始新总统任期 Russian Voters Hand Putin a Resounding and Expected Victory








The voters of Russia have handed Vladimir Putin a resounding and expected victory. With nearly all the ballots counted from almost all the precincts, Putin is poised to began his new six-year term as Russia's leader with more than 76 percent of the votes. Putin has been in a position of leadership in Russia for 18 years.

Opinion polls showed he had far more support than any of his rivals.

Putin addressed thousands on the Manezhnaya Square near the Kremlin late Sunday. He hailed those who voted for him as a "big national team," adding that "we are bound for success."

Asked if he would seek the presidency again when next eligible to run, in 2030, the 65-year-old Russian leader snapped, "It's ridiculous. Do you think I will sit here until I turn 100?"

Putin's closest rival was opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was disqualified from running in the election when he was convicted for embezzlement in December. Given a five-year suspended sentence, Navalny said the conviction was politically motivated, to keep him out of the race.

Navalny led a boycott effort, while Russian election organizers hoped for a high voter turnout to legitimize an election long seen to have been a foregone conclusion.

Putin has been in power as either president or prime minister since 1999. He has switched back and forth between the two roles to circumvent a Russian law banning him from serving more than two consecutive terms as president.