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Communists Leading Election As Expected

Mon., Dec. 18, 1995, midnight

Communists and nationalists were in the lead, but more moderate parties were faring better than predicted today in parliamentary elections seen as a crucial test of President Boris Yeltsin’s reforms.

The leading parties, who want to turn back Yeltsin’s free-market changes, were expected to win the most votes in elections for the State Duma, parliament’s lower house. They are riding a wave of anger and despair in a country where life remains bleak - and people can now complain about it.

The Central Election Commission said partial returns from Sunday’s vote showed the Communist Party had about 26 percent of the vote in 29 of the country’s 89 regions.

Ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s Liberal Democratic Party was in second place with 15.3 percent, officials said.

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