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Putin discounts calls for election review

MOSCOW – Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Tuesday discounted calls for a review of the disputed December 4 parliamentary elections that have sparked widespread protests and calls for reform, CNN said. “The elections to the State Duma are over,” Putin said. “All parliamentary factions have started to work. The speaker has been elected. The Duma is functioning. Any kind of revision is out of the question,” Putin said. His United Russia Party received 49.5 percent of the vote.

President Dimitry Medvedev announced political reforms in the wake of the results, but tens of thousands of people still protested in bitter cold in Moscow on Saturday to demand fair elections and other changes. They also chanted against the planned March presidential bid by Putin.

Putin said Tuesday that he would not need to resort to fraudulent tactics to win back the presidency he held from 1999 to 2008, when Russian law limiting presidents to two consecutive terms forced him to leave office.

He also rebuffed calls from former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev to resign, according to the Irish times. “I would advise Vladimir Putin to leave now. He has had three terms: two as president and one as prime minister. Three terms – that is enough,” Gorbachev said on Russian radio.

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