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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

03/27/2000

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Putin Close to Outright Election Win

Vladimir Putin emerged the clear leader in Sunday's presidential election, with preliminary results indicating he had received 49.52 percent of the vote - a strong showing that seemed likely to improve to a winning majority as the vote count wrapped up late Monday morning. Votes were still being counted at press time, and the picture was changing dramatically every moment - largely because vote counts earlier in the day overemphasized the Far East and Siberia at the expense of Moscow, St. Petersburg and the rest of European Russia - where Putin did best. Putin's numbers got better Sunday night and Monday morning with each passing hour, from about 45 percent of the vote in the early evening to near 50 percent by press time at 2 a.m. And while the race was going down to the wire, it seemed less and less likely Putin would have to face Communist Gennady Zyuganov in a runoff in three weeks, on April 16. With about 40 percent of all ballots counted, Zyuganov trailed Putin with 30.81 percent.

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