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    PUTIN PLEASED WITH ELECTION RESULTS

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    MOSCOW, March 15 (RIA Novosti) - President Vladimir Putin is pleased with the number of votes he scored at yesterday's presidential poll, which was much higher than 4 years ago.

    "Four years after the last presidential election, we have showed a much better result, and not merely repeated the previous one," Mr Putin told reporters in the early hours of March 15.

    The president said the election results showed that what had been done over the past 4 years was correct and inspired him with confidence for the next 4 years of the presidency.

    "This is the acknowledgement, or rather, assessment of what was done in the past 4 years. This is extremely important to me," emphasized Mr Putin. He said that in 2000, voters supported him intuitively after only a short term as FSB chief and premier, the president said.

    Mr Putin believes that re-election campaign is always a greater challenge for incumbent leaders as they are responsible virtually for everything. "The public blames authorities even for what they are not guilty of due to objective reasons," said President Putin.

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