Putin: 'We Are a Single Team'
He wins 4th term by biggest margin yet
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2018 7:27 AM CDT
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to supporters during a rally near the Kremlin in Moscow, Sunday, March 18, 2018.   (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
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(Newser) – Russia held a presidential election Sunday—and it didn't take the powers of the Amazing Kreskin to predict the outcome. Amid reports of ballot box-stuffing and other chicanery, Moscow released official results showing that Vladimir Putin had been re-elected with 76.7% of the vote, his highest score ever, up from 63% in 2012. His newest six-year term will run until 2024, when current Russian law will ban him from a third consecutive term, CNN reports. "We are a single team, I am a member of this team, and all those who cast their ballots today are members of our large national team," Putin told supporters in Moscow. He later said he was planning changes to the government, but wouldn't change the constitution to stay in power. More:

  • The rest of the field. Authorities say Communist candidate Pavel Grudinin came in second with 11.6% of the vote, with ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky third with 5.6%. The Guardian reports that TV star Ksenia Sobchak, the only candidate who actually criticized Putin, took 1.6% of the vote. Opposition leader Alexei Navalny was banned from running. Official figures put Sunday's turnout at around 67%, below the 70% the Kremlin had hoped for.

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