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Putin thanks campaign staff

Monday, March 05, 2012 - 01:42

Mar. 5 - Vladamir Putin visits his electoral headquarters to thank his staff after exit polls give him a resounding victory. Sophia Soo reports.

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Champagne glasses were handed out at Russian Prime Minister Vladamir Putin's campaign headquarters. Everyone is celebrating his win in the presidential election. Cheers broke out when Putin turned up to thank his campaign staff. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRIME MINISTER VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "And now on this occasion I would like to recite (Russian poet Sergei) Yesenin. 'If the army of God tells me: give up Russia and live in heaven - I will tell them: I don't need any heaven, just give me my Motherland.' Thank you very much." Putin's opponents complained of widespread fraud and refused to recognise the results. But Putin's campaign chief told the media that there is no doubt of Putin's "clean" victory. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) PUTIN'S CAMPAIGN CHIEF, FILM DIRECTOR STANISLAV GOVORUKHIN, SAYING: "I'll tell you, even if there are 100 voting violations, just count how much is that out of 96,000 polling stations. This is a paltry fraction of a percent. In any civilised country such elections would have been considered fair and legitimate." The Russian Central Election Commission said Putin had won over 64 percent of ballots, after 97.4 percent of vote had been counted. However, his opponents will go ahead with a protest against him and the election, on Monday. Sophia Soo, Reuters.

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Putin thanks campaign staff

Monday, March 05, 2012 - 01:42