MOSCOW — Incumbent Russian President Vladimir Putin has won re-election in a landslide victory, extending his rule over the world’s largest country for another six years at a time when his ties with the West are on a hostile trajectory.
In a widely expected result, the Central Election Commission said Mr Putin had won 75.9 per cent of votes with more than 70 per cent counted.
An exit poll by VCIOM showed Mr Putin, who has dominated the political landscape for the last 18 years, had won 73.9 per cent of the vote.
After winning, Putin thanked voters for their support at a victory rally and said Russia had a great future ahead of it provided its people stayed united.
Speaking from a stage just off Moscow’s Red Square in front of a cheering audience, the President said the election result was a recognition of what had been achieved in the past few years, despite difficult conditions.
“I see in this trust and hope, the hope of our people that we will work with the same intensity, with the same sense of responsibility and with even greater results,” Mr Putin said.
First-time Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin is running second with close to 12 percent of the vote, while veteran nationalist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who first ran against Boris Yeltsin in 1991, rounds out the top three with about six percent.
None of the other five candidates is on track to receive more than two percent of the vote.Follow @gorkhapost
32 dead, 1 missing in Papua attacks, Indonesian police say
JAYAPURA, INDONESIA- Security forces tried to recover the bodies of 31 construction workers and a soldier who were killed in one of the worst separatist attacks in Indonesia’s restive province of Papua, officials said Tuesday.
Papua police spokesman Suryadi Diaz said 24 workers were killed on Sunday when gunmen stormed a government bridge construction project in a remote mountainous village in Nduga district.
Citing reports from several witnesses, Diaz said, eight other workers fled to the nearby house of a local parliament member, but an armed group came a day later and killed seven of them. However the eighth managed to escape and remains missing.
“This is the worst attack launched by the armed criminal group recently amid intensified development by the government,” Diaz told The Associated Press.
Separately, Papua province military spokesman Lt. Col. Dax Sianturi said an armed group attacked a military post in Mbua village in the same district late Monday, killing a soldier and injuring another.Follow @gorkhapost