MOSCOW, March 23. /TASS/. Incumbent Russian President Vladimir Putin was re-elected to his fourth term as Russia’s head of state during the March 18 election winning 76.69% of the ballots, while Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin took second place with 11.77%, according to the Central Election Commission’s final results announced on Friday.
Leader of the Liberal-Democratic Party Vladimir Zhirinovsky came in a distant third with 5.65% of the vote, while TV personality and socialite Ksenia Sobchak (nominated by the Civil Initiative party) garnered 1.68% ending up in fourth place.
Next trailing far behind are head of the Yabloko Party’s federal political committee Grigory Yavlinsky (1.05%), Chairman of the Party of Growth and Russian Presidential Envoy for Entrepreneurs’ Rights Boris Titov (0.76%), Maxim Suraikin, nominated by the Communists of Russia party (0.68%) and head of the Russian People’s Union party Sergei Baburin (0.65%).
The March 18 presidential election in Russia was transparent, competitive and in line with the law, Central Election Commission’s Head Ella Pamfilova said on Friday at a meeting devoted to the election results.
"The election was free, competitive and transparent," Pamfilova said. The outcome is trustworthy and announced in line with the federal law. "Those who challenge it either act crookedly or trust false [statements]," she said.
The voter turnout reached 67.54% or more than 73 million people. During the 2012 presidential election the figure was 65.34%.
Russian voters abroad were the most active since 2000, the election chief said. Some 474,616 citizens cast their ballots. The number is 32,330 higher than in 2012.A record-setting 56.43 million Russian voters threw their support behind Putin. In 2000, he received 52.94% of the ballots and was backed by 39.74 million people. Four years later, Putin secured 71.31% of the vote and more than 49.5 million people cast their ballots in favor of him.
During the 2012 election, 45.6 million Russians or 63.60% of voters backed Putin. In 2018, Putin took part in the presidential election for the fourth time.
The Central Election Commission is due to publish the final figures within three days. In 2012, Putin was inaugurated on May 7. He is due to be re-inaugurated six years from that date, following his landslide election victory.