Pro-Kremlin party retains large majority in parliament

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s ruling party has retained its supermajority in parliament. That further cements President Vladimir Putin’s grip on power in elections that most opposition politicians were barred from and that were marred by multiple reports of violations. The vote has been watched closely for any signs that Putin’s control might slip, however slightly, ahead of the 2024 presidential election. It’s not yet clear whether Putin will run again then, choose a successor or outline a different path. But he is expected to keep his hand on the tiller whatever he decides, and an obedient parliament will be crucial. The chair of the Central Election Commission confirmed Monday that United Russia has retained the so-called constitutional majority, or two-thirds of the 450 seats.