Vladimir Putin, prime minister and strongman of the country, won the first round of Russian presidential Vote Sunday, according to preliminary results released after the polls closed, while large police forces were concentrated in Moscow.
Putin was elected with 61.97% of the votes, the Communist Gennady Zyuganov would obtain 17.7%, the populist Vladimir Zhirinovsky 7.8%, billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov 7.6%, the centrist Sergei Mironov 3.6%, according to official preliminary results published after counting 14% of offices.
These results were announced after the close of polls in the last zone of the country, at 20:00 local Kaliningrad (west) or 1700 GMT.
“This first round victory was obvious,” said the head of Putin’s campaign, Sergei Govorukhin. “There will be no second round,” he said, quoted by Interfax.
President from 2000 to 2008 (two terms of four years), then head of government because they could not bind a third consecutive term forbidden by the Constitution, Mr. Putin remained strong man of the country despite a net decrease of its popularity , will begin a new term, this time increased to 6 years.
The turnout was over 58% at 1400 GMT, according to preliminary figures from the Electoral Commission.
The former KGB agent could make an appearance at a mass meeting Sunday night Manege Square, next to the Kremlin, where 20,000 of his supporters are expected to celebrate his victory.
Very large police forces were mobilized in the center of the capital Sunday night to deter any attempt to challenge, by giving place to the city looks like a fortified camp.
Some 36,500 men, including soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Interior Ministry, were mobilized in the city, officials said.
Dozens of trucks of police were visible in the center, noted journalists from AFP.
The reason for this mobilization is “to ensure full enforcement and public safety,” said a spokesman for the Moscow police.
No opposition group has not officially called to protest Sunday night.
The opposition called for a rally Pushkin Square in downtown Monday night, which should make this day a crucial step for the future of the protest movement.
A coalition of liberal, nationalist and cultural figures and the media has mobilized the past three months tens of thousands of people during demonstrations in the capital, and thousands in other cities across the country with the slogan “Russia without Putin “.
At the polls Sunday, representatives of some candidates, opponents, election monitoring organizations such as Golos Association and the League of Voters and independent media have claimed to have identified amount to fraud.
Control2012.ru site, set up to account for offenses detected by the League of Voters, the Democratic Party Yabloko supporters of the candidate and billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, was recorded around 1630 GMT more than 4,500 violations of electoral legislation.
This site recensait including 327 cases of “massive transportation of voters” to vote as a group (or a hint of repeat voting in different offices through fraudulent authorizations) and 103 cases of ballot stuffing.
An AFP journalist saw on a central square in Moscow more than a hundred buses in Moscow that led thousands of young people from other regions.
These people did not want to say who organized their trip, but coming specifically be entrusted to vote for Vladimir Putin. The election law allows a person to vote in another office than his own, a rule which, according to the opposition, facilitates fraud.
The head of the electoral commission in Moscow, Valentin Gorbunov rejected the accusations, saying that the declarants were probably paid, resuming the discourse of power that determines that the opposition is in the pay of the West.
“All this is the realm of gossip. I feel they have been paid,” he said, Interfax reported.
The power was assured that the vote be free and democratic, while the falsifications denounced by the opposition and independent observers in parliamentary elections in December sparked a wave of protest not seen since 2000.
Mr Putin said the problem by ordering the installation of 180,000 webcams – two per polling station – so that everyone can follow the progress of the election live on the internet.
The system malfunctioned Sunday, as observed by AFP, the retransmission of the images was often interrupted for reasons apparently technical or location of the cameras did not control all the polls.
The effectiveness of such an initiative had the rest been questioned by the election observation mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which must give its findings on the ballot Monday.
Some 109 million voters were eligible to vote.