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OSCE Observers Note Increased Transparency in Russian Legislative Elections

© Sputnik / Alexandr Kryazhev / Go to the photo bankPolling stations in central Russia have opened for voting in elections to the country's lower house of the parliament
Polling stations in central Russia have opened for voting in elections to the country's lower house of the parliament - Sputnik International
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The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's (OSCE) observers witnessed increased transparency in parliamentary elections in Russia, although legal restrictions and other issues remain, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Emeritus Ilkka Kanerva said Monday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On Sunday, the Russians cast their ballots to elect the State Duma, the lower house of the country’s parliament. Kanerva was the head of the OSCE group observing the elections.

Early results of the Russian State Duma election in single-member constituencies on information screens at the Russian Central Election Commission. - Sputnik International
CIS Mission Praises 'Transparency and Democratic Nature' of Russian Elections
In noting the increased transparency and trust of the Sunday poll, Kanerva told reporters of remaining legal restrictions, adding that Russia needs to give greater freedom to civil discourse and activism to fulfill its democratic obligations.

He added that the process of political parties' registration in Russia had been eased, but it had not resulted in "creation of political alternative" yet.

With almost all ballots counted, the governing United Russia is leading in the elections with 54.18 percent of the votes. The Communist Party gained 13.35 percent of the votes, the Liberal Democrats party has 13.16 percent, while A Just Russia won 6.21 percent.

Turnout at the elections was estimated by Russia's Central Election Commission at 47.78 percent.

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