MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s dominant Kremlin-backed party appears set to retain the two-thirds majority in the parliament that allows it to change the constitution, according to preliminary results on Monday morning. The election is seen as an important part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to cement his grip on power ahead of the 2024 presidential election. Results from about 85% of the country’s polling stations give the ruling United Russia party 49.7% of the vote for the 225 seats apportioned by party lists, according to the Central Election Commission. Another 225 lawmakers will be chosen by individual races, and the results on Monday morning show United Russia candidates leading in 195 of those single-constituency districts.
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