Medvedev Won 70.28% of the Vote

Dmitry Medvedev won the presidential election with 70.28 percent of the vote, according to final official results. Turnout was 69.81 percent.

Communist Party chief Gennady Zyuganov trailed with 17.72 percent, while Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky had 9.35 percent, and little-known candidate Andrei Bogdanov captured 1.3 percent, the Central Elections Commission said Friday.

Putin captured about 53 percent of the vote in 2000 and won a second term in 2004 with more than 71 percent, just above Medvedev's result. But the turnout -- 60 and 64 percent, respectively -- was significantly lower than the hefty 70 percent on March 2. While Putin won about 49.5 million votes in the 2004 election, Medvedev was backed by more than 52.5 million voters.

Medvedev thanked voters Friday in a televised speech, saying the broad public support meant a "credit of trust to solve the main socio-economic problems which the country faces."

During a Central Elections Commission session on Friday, its Communist member, Yevgeny Kolyushin, harshly criticized campaign violations and official efforts to boost turnout on election day and demanded a recount. The commission shrugged off the criticism and endorsed Medvedev's election.