Publication: Monitor Volume: 6 Issue: 61

Acting Russian President Vladimir Putin has been elected the country’s head of state. According to the results released by the Central Election Commission (CEC) at 10 AM today, Moscow time, based on a tabulation of 94.27 percent of all votes cast, Putin had won a winning 52.52 percent of the vote, which constitutes a majority of Russia’s eligible voters. Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov placed second with 29.44 percent, and Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky came in a distant third with 5.85 percent. While there was some discussion in the final days that turnout might be low, the turnout was actually 69.96 percent. Had it been less than 50 percent, the vote would have been cancelled and held again later. Putin, not surprisingly, appears to have done very well among members of the Russian armed forces. According to General Anatoly Kornukov, head of the Russian air force, more than 80 percent of air force servicemen and civilian personnel and their families voted for Putin, while some 12 percent voted for Zyuganov. The CEC said today that Putin’s inauguration will take place on May 5 (Russian agencies, March 27).

Elections for the posts of governor or regional administration head were also held yesterday in seven Russian regions. While the official tallies were not in as of this writing, two incumbent governors kept their posts: Saratov Governor Dmitri Ayatskov with more than 67 percent of the vote and incumbent Altai Krai Governor Aleksandr Surikov with 77 percent. Several regional administration heads were also re-elected by resounding majorities: Yuri Yevdokimov of Murmansk with 87 percent, Aleksandr Filipenko of the Khany-Mansiisky autonomous region with 91 percent, and Yuri Neelov of the Yamalo-Nenetsky regional administration with 88 percent.