The Kremlin on Monday said weekend parliamentary elections in Russia had been open, competitive and honest, after the opposition decried the vote as rigged.
"The competitiveness, openness and honesty of the elections were and are the most important thing for the president," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
Peskov acknowledged that the Communist Party -- who many Russians voted for to express dissatisfaction with the authorities -- improved its results in the election, calling it a sign of the competitiveness of the country's electoral system.
But he added: "At the same time we see that United Russia is the main preference of the voters."
"The party faced the task of reaffirming its leadership; this task was certainly fulfilled," Peskov added.
With 95 percent of votes counted by 1000 GMT on Monday, United Russia was ahead with 49.6 percent of the vote followed by the Communist Party with 19.2 percent.
The ruling party's share of the vote was down from 54.2 percent in the last parliamentary election in 2016, while the Communists saw their support grow from 13.3 percent.
Allies of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said the vote was being falsified on a massive scale, pointing especially to repeated delays in releasing the results of electronic voting in opposition-friendly Moscow.
Peskov said he could not comment on electronic voting and referred all questions to the Central Election Commission.