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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tambov, Tver Voters Pick United Russia

United Russia won big in two regional elections over the weekend, securing control over legislatures in the Tambov and Tver regions, election officials said Monday.

In Tambov, United Russia drew 40.5 percent of the vote in Sunday's elections, twice what it received in the region in State Duma elections in 2003, Interfax reported, citing regional election officials.

The party also claimed 15 of the 25 races in single-mandate districts.

Candidates ran on party lists as well as in single-mandate districts for the 50-seat legislature.

The Communist Party placed second, with 19.9 percent, and the ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party won 9.7 percent. No other parties overcame the 5 percent barrier to win seats.

United Russia's win in Tver was more modest, with 33.2 percent of the party-list vote and half of the 16 seats awarded in single-mandate races. The results appeared to be fractionally lower than the party's regional performance in the the Duma elections.

The legislature has 33 seats.

Communists placed second, with 14.6 percent of the vote; the nationalist Rodina party got 8.95 percent; and the "against all" protest vote got 8.2 percent.

Three more parties -- People's Will, the Liberal Democratic Party and the Agrarian Party -- squeaked into the legislature by collecting just more than 5 percent of the vote.

Meanwhile, the United Russia-dominated Duma gave final approval on Monday to a presidential bill that would allow parties that win regional elections to propose candidates for governor that would then go to the president for nomination. The bill still must go to the Federation Council for approval before it can be sent to President Vladimir Putin to be signed into law.

Opposition parties and political analysts have said the legislation would boost the influence of United Russia and make the appointments of regional leaders even less democratic.