Putin 'Elected Russian President'

by
Ricky
Vladimir Putin has been elected Russian president for the third time, exit polls suggest, after spending the last four years as the country's PM.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin addresses the media at a polling station in Moscow on Sunday.

Vladimir Putin has been elected Russian president for the third time, exit polls suggest, after spending the last four years as the country's PM.

The exit polls gave Mr Putin about 60% of the vote, meaning that he should avoid a run-off with his nearest rival, Communist Gennady Zyuganov.

Officials say turnout was higher than for the last election in 2008.

But opposition groups have reported widespread violations, with many people voting more than once.

They have called for mass protests in central Moscow on Monday.

Meanwhile thousands of supporters of Mr Putin have gathered with Russian flags and banners outside the Kremlin for a concert to celebrate his victory.

With counting already under way in most of the country, the electoral commission published preliminary results showing Mr Putin gaining nearly 62%, and Mr Zyuganov just under 18%.

The other three candidates were in single digits.