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Kremlin: United Russia victory de facto reflects voters’ support for president Putin

However, Dmitry Peskov declined to answer the question how these results will influence Putin’s decision to once again run for president in 2018

MOSCOW, September 19./TASS/. The voters choosing United Russia party in the September 18 elections have practically voted for Russian President Vladimir Putin, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday.

However, he declined to answer the question how these results will influence Putin’s decision to once again run in the presidential election of 2018.

"I cannot answer this question," Peskov said. "But it is evident, that the overwhelming majority of the voters spoke de facto in support of the president," the Kremlin spokesman added.

"Putin has once again received a massive vote of confidence from the country’s people".

According to preliminary results, United Russia set up upon Putin’s initiative, has won about 55% of the vote.

In an earlier interview with Bloomberg, replying to the question whether he would run in the 2018 presidential election, Putin said "We are having parliamentary elections soon, so we should wait for the results". However, "even after that, we have almost two more years to go. So it is quite premature to talk about it," Putin said.

"Depending on what we will have accomplished on these tracks (living standards, economic development, social wellbeing and national defense capability), we will think about the arrangements for the presidential election campaign in 2018 and who should participate in it," the president added.

Results of elections convincing, voter turnout higher than in Europe 

The voter turnout at Sunday’s elections to the State Duma was higher than the average figures in Europe and did not influence the credibility of the results.

"We would welcome a higher voter turnout, but the importance of those figures that we have now should not be downplayed. It cannot be called low," Peskov said. "You know, in the overwhelming majority of European countries the turnout is much lower."

"This reflects the reality, this reflects the ratio of politically active citizens who traditionally take part in the elections," the Russian presidential spokesman said. Не also stressed that the figures in Russia "are much higher than in average in Europe."

Elections to the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of Parliament, were held on September 18 in a split system: 225 members of parliament were elected by party tickets, while the other 225 were elected in one-seat constituencies.The voter turnout at the State Duma elections reached 47.18%.

Speaking on the traditionally low voter turnout in major Russian cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg, Peskov said these figures should not be considered as insufficient. "Yes, in a number of major cities the turnout is traditionally slightly lower than the average Russian statistics. But still this does not influence at all the results of the polls and their credibility," he stressed.

The ruling United Russia party won the elections to the State Duma on party lists with 54.28% of the votes after 93.06% of ballots counted, Central Election Commission head Ella Pamfilova said on Monday. The Communist Party comes second with 13.45% of the votes, and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) is in the third place with 13.24% of the votes. A Just Russian party gained 6.17% of the votes.