MOSCOW, March 5 (Xinhua): Mr. Putin Secures Victory in Presidential Election

Russian presidential candidate and incumbent Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has won about 64 percent of the votes after over 95 percent of ballots was counted early on Monday, official figures from the Central Election Commission (CEC) showed.

The latest official counts posted on the CEC website showed that Putin has kept the leading position with 64.28 percent of the votes, enough to avoid a second round, while none of the other four candidates have garnered more than 20 percent of the votes.

Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov pocketed 17.14 percent of the votes, while independent candidate Mikhail Prokhorov gained 7.42 percent.

About 6.25 percent of the votes went to Liberal Democratic leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky and 3.80 percent for A Just Russia leader Sergei Mironov.

Some 64 percent of the 109 million eligible voters cast their ballots in the presidential election on Sunday.

Earlier, the tearful Putin had declared victory after exit poll results showed he would win 58.3 percent of the votes.

This was “a pure victory,” which was gained in an “open and honest battle,” he told thousands of supporters on downtown Manezh Square, with tears sliding from the right cheek.

He called on all Russians to unite around the interests of the people and the country.

Speaking to supporters in his campaign headquarters, Putin pledged to fulfill his campaign promises.

His spokesman Dmitry Peskov told media that Putin is ready for dialogues with members of the opposition.

“If they (opposition) come up with a constructive stance, which would attribute to the common cause, he will be ready for dialogue with anyone,” Peskov was quoted by RIA Novosti news agency as saying.

He added that Putin would meet with the media within the next few days.

Putin’s rivals Zhirinovsky and Mironov have called Putin congratulating him on the victory.

Mironov told reporters here that he believed “The election results are true”, while Zhirinovsky said he had closely followed the voting process and did not notice any serious violations.

The preliminary official results of the election are expected to be announced later Monday, said the CEC.

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