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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Medvedev Orders Inquiry of Elections

President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday ordered the Central Elections Commission to investigate purported violations in last weekend's regional elections.

United Russia strengthened its position in the elections, but opposition parties said there had been widespread cheating.

"If there are signs of violations, they should be dealt with and looked at, and perhaps some election laws and rules need to be changed," Medvedev told Central Elections Commission chief Vladimir Churov.

Churov, a former colleague of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, had brushed aside opposition claims of widespread vote fraud earlier in the week, saying at best, 1 percent of complaints were justified.

Churov told Medvedev that there had been 303 complaints filed about the elections, United Russia's first major electoral test since the onset of Russia's deepest economic crisis in at least a decade.

United Russia increased its share of the vote in most of the nine elections to regional parliaments last Sunday. Turnout was officially up slightly at just over 55 percent.