A man casts his ballot at a polling station during a parliamentary elections in Mitsulevka village near Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russian Far East island, Russia, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Oleg Klimov)
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Russia's ruling United Russia party has cruised to an easy victory in parliamentary polls that could pave the way for President Vladimir Putin to glide to a fourth term in 2018 elections, partial results showed.With 90 percent of the votes counted, the United Russia party had 54.3 percent of votes, securing it at least 338 seats in the 450-member parliament, up from 238 previously, according to results announced early Monday.It was followed by the Communists and the ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party, on 13.5 percent and 13.3 percent respectively, and A Just Russia, which received 6.2 percent, results published by the election commission showed.The vote comes as Putin's approval ratings remain high at around 80 percent and authorities appear to be banking on trouble-free presidential elections in two years.Though the overall tally for United Russia was higher than the 49 percent it claimed in 2011, participation was low, particularly in Moscow and Saint Petersburg.Only 47.8 of voters cast their ballots, against 60 percent in 2011, electoral officials said.
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