MOSCOW (Armenpress)–Kremlin-backed Dmitry Medvedev won Russia’s presidential election by a landslide, preliminary results from the Central Election Commission showed on Monday.
With 99 percent of the ballots counted, First Deputy Prime Minister Medvedev, 42, received 70.22 percent of the vote in Sunday’s elections with a record turnout of 69.6percent of the country’s 109 million eligible voters, the Central Election Commission (CEC. said.
His nearest rival, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov, was on 17.77percent. Nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky had 9.37 percent of the vote and the leader of the pro-Western Democratic Party, Andrey Bogdanov won only 1.29 percent.
The overwhelming lead is enough to give Medvedev victory in the first round of voting.
Medvedev was publicly backed by incumbent President Vladimir Putin as his successor in mid-December, and was later nominated by the ruling United Russia party as a presidential candidate.
Putin later announced that he would take up an offer by Medvedev to become prime minister, if his ‘heir’ was elected president.
Medvedev said on Sunday his presidency would be a "direct continuation" of the policies of the man who had backed him to lead Russia, and his future work in tandem with Putin "may bring interesting results for the country and become a positive factor in the development of our country."
The Central Election Commission said Communist party leader Gennady Zyuganov has declared his intention to contest the results of the elections in court.
"We’ve never seen this sort of impudence before. This is a new era," he was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying. He added that the Communist party had noted voting violations in many Russian cities, including Saint Petersburg.
The leader of the ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party Vladimir Zhirinovsky said he will not challenge the results.
Armenian President Kocharian congratulated Medvedev on his victory in a letter Monday.
Armenia highly appreciates the partnership and relations of Russia, Kocharian’s letter said. The congratulatory letter also notes medvedev’s contributions to the development of Armenian-Russian relations.
The Armenian President also expressed confidence that the new president will contribute to the deepening and expansion of Armenian-Russian relations.