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Pro-Putin party wins Russian parliamentary election

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Vladimir Putin

Early results showed that the ruling United Russian party won 51 percent in Sunday’s election.LDPR came second with 15.3 per cent while Russia’s Communist Party and Fair Russia obtained 14.9 and 8.1 per cent respectively, the poll showed.

The win by Putin’s party  would allow the party to extend its dominance in the lower house of Parliament

A further 10 parties that took part in the elections did not receive enough votes to make it into parliament, although some of their candidate could still enter parliament as a result of constituency races.

According to another exit poll by Public Opinion Foundation, United Russia, led by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, obtained 48.7 per cent of the votes, followed by Russia’s Communist Party, which gained 16.3 per cent.

The nationalist party LDPR also garnered 14.2 per cent. Fair Russia came fourth and is the last party to enter the parliament post-election, as it obtained 7.6 percent of the vote while other parties did not clear the 5 percent threshold, the poll showed.

With 10 percent of votes counted, early results suggest that the ruling United Russia party heads the polls with 45.95 per cent, followed by right-wing party LDPR with 17.4 per cent and the Russian Communist Party with 16.76 per cent. Fair Russia comes fourth with 6.36 per cent, the Russian Central Elections Committee said.

This time, half of the parliament’s seats will be occupied by deputies included in the federal candidate lists of parties that will clear the 5 percent threshold. The other half will be taken up by candidates elected according to a first-past-the-post system in each of the 225 independent constituencies or districts that together form the Russian Federation.

Fourteen political parties took part in State Duma elections.

In Russia, each person over the age of 18 is eligible to vote, except for prisoners and legally incapable persons. The total number of Russian voters amounts to 111.6 million with about two million of them living abroad. Voter turnout in Russia’s previous parliamentary elections in 2011 amounted to 60.2 percent.

Putin says Results shows people trust our leadership

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev arrived at the United Russia party campaign office, where the PM, who is also the chairman of Russia’s ruling party, delivered a speech to party members and thanked Putin.

Medvedev also called the election results “a victory” for the party.

Russian people support political stability, Vladimir Putin said as he visited the United Russia campaign office. “The situation is not easy and people see it – and they want the political system and society to remain stable,” the president said.

“Ordinary people know that empty promises are worth nothing,” he added, commenting on preliminary election results and stressing that United Russia will continue its work aimed at Russia’s development.

Low Voter turnout 

The total voter turnout stood at 39.37 percent two hours before the polling stations closed, Russia’s Central Elections Committee said in a press release. At the same time, Moscow and St. Petersburg were among the Russian regions with the lowest turnout, which amounted to almost 20 percent in the Russian capital and 16.12 percent in St. Petersburg.

Sunday’s voter turnout is “not the highest” in comparison to that of previous elections, but it is still “high”, Vladimir Putin said, commenting at the end of the voting.

On Sunday, Russians elected the officials to the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, as well as to dozens of municipal and regional bodies on the first nationwide Single Election Day – previously voting was held in December.

It is also the first time that the mixed principle has been used in elections to the State Duma since 2003, as in 2007 and 2011 Russians elected MPs from federal party lists only.

One international observer at the Russian State Duma elections, Javier Hurtado Mira, the president of centre-right political organization, the Democrat Youth Community of Europe, told RT Spanish that the atmosphere at his polling station was “calm.”

“People are casting their votes just like in other European countries,” he said adding that the voting process is “absolutely transparent” and “Russian democracy has evolved.”

Disaster

Indonesia’s Sulawesi island volcano erupts,spewing ashes upto 7.5 km high

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Jakarta, Dec 16 : A volcano erupted in Indonesia’s North Sulawesi province on Sunday, spewing a column of ash measuring 7.5 km to the sky.

Mount Soputan erupted twice — first at 7.43 a.m. and the second at 8.57 a.m., an agency spokesman told Xinhua news agency.

There were no reports of casualties and the ash was not considered a threat to aviation, agency spokesman Sutopo Nugroho said on Sunday.

Ashes were spread toward south west and south of the crater and small tremors jolted the area.

“In anticipating the hot ash from sliding into the flank of the volcano and flows of cool lava, the community is prohibited from having activities at the radius of 4 km from the crater, and for the area at southwest of the crater the no go-zone has been declared at 6.5 km,” the spokesman said.

Mount Soputan is one of 129 active volcanoes in Indonesia which lies on a vulnerable quake-hit zone called “the Pacific Ring of Fire”.

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Wickremesinghe reinstated as Sri Lankan PM

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sri-lanka

Colombo, Dec 16 : Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was forced out of office in October, was sworn in as Sri Lankan Prime Minister on Sunday by President Maithripala Sirisena.

Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) said on its official Twitter account that the deposed leader took oath before President Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday.

“We thank the citizens of the country who fought the illegal seizure of power and ensured that democracy was restored,” the UNP said on Twitter.

His reinstatement has ended a nearly two-month political crisis,but has brought major embarrassment for Sirisena, who had replaced him with former president Mahinda Rajapaksa following differences over policymaking and other issues.

However, Rajapaksa failed to win a parliamentary majority and resigned on Saturday as a government shutdown loomed.

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Chhota Shakeel’s brother Anwar Babu Sheikh detained in Dubai

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Chhota Shakeel

Mumbai, Dec 15 : The D-company received a major blow as  Gangster Chhota Shakeel’s brother Anwar Shaikh, who is wanted in Mumbai for 1993 Mumbai serials blasts, was arrested from Abu Dhabi Airport on Friday.Chhota Shakeel is considered the trusted right hand of fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar.

Sheikh, who is wanted in Mumbai and Thane in connection with several offences including the March 1993 Mumbai serials blasts, was detained and questioned by the Dubai Police at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Among other things, Sheikh is wanted for allegedly co-ordinating the Mumbai serial blasts from a location abroad.

After the Mumbai serial blasts red corner notice has been issued against him  and Indian authorities are trying to seek Anwar’s custody.

After search and interrogation, the Dubai Police are understood to have recovered a Pakistani passport from Sheikh, raising questions on his extradition to India.

Both Indian and Pakistani embassies in the UAE are said to be in touch with the Dubai authorities seeking his deportation to their respective countries.

 

Mumbai and Thane police sources said that Sheikh is linked to Pakistan’s ISI and was involved in several terror acts in India before he fled this country.

Earlier this year, Thane Anti Extortion Cell chief Pradeep Sharma had nabbed couple of persons for illegally keeping AK-56 Army assault rifles in their Mumbai suburban home in Goregaon.

 

 

 

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