By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
With a quarter of the votes counted, United Russia had received more than 44 percent of the vote, officials said. An exit poll conducted by Insomar and published by Russia’s Ria news agency predicted that the party would win just over 45 percent of the vote.
However, the Kremlin’s most vocal critics were barred from running in the vote. And ahead of Sunday’s elections, authorities forced tech giants Apple and Google to remove a tactical-voting application created by jailed opposition Alexei Navalny.
The so-called “Smart Voting” app told users which local candidate to vote for and who was the favorite to win against Putin’s United Russia party.
Russia’s election commission denied wrongdoing or facilitating fraud.
With the counting of ballots still ongoing, United Russia already claimed victory a few hours after the polls closed late Sunday.
State television showed a senior United Russia official, Andrei Turchak, congratulating a crowd of supporters in Moscow on what he called “a clean and honest victory.”
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