Putin wins Russian parliamentary elections but turnout down

Russian parliamentary elections: Russia’s ruling political party has comfortably won this weekend’s parliamentary elections, early results suggest, but a drop in  turnout from  60% five years’ ago  to around 40% suggests a softening of enthusiasm for President Putin and the ruling elite, 18 months before the next presidential elections.
According to preliminary official estimates published after one quarter of the votes had been counted, Putin’s United Russia party is on course to win 51% of the votes. If correct, this would enable the president and his allies to extend their dominance in the Duma, despite the negative effect of  Russia’s economic woes on standards of living across the country.
The result showed that voters still trusted United Russia’s leadership, Putin told campaign staff last night, while acknowledging that the economic surge that has lain behind his popularity had faltered. “We know that life is hard for people, there are lots of problems, lots of unresolved problems. Nevertheless, we have this result.”
Although the president has yet to confirm that he will stand for re-election in 2018, Putin’s aides are likely to use the result as a springboard for his next campaign. 
In the meantime, in a move that could trigger a  more widespread upgrade of the country’s creditworthiness, Standard & Poor’s has announced that it had upgraded Russia’s sovereign credit rating from negative to stable, despite expecting this year’s consolidated budget deficit to rise to 4.1%, compared to 3.5% in 2015. 

Source: reuters