MOSCOW (AFP) - The ruling party of Vladimir Putin Monday won Russias parliamentary elections but with a sharply reduced majority, in a blow for the strongman ahead of his planned return to the Kremlin in 2012. The results mean his United Russia party has lost the majority of two-thirds in the State Duma required to pass any changes to the constitution, amid signs Putins once invincible popularity is on the wane. The vote Sunday was shadowed by accusations of dirty tricks by the authorities. Observers led by the OSCE said the elections were slanted in favour of United Russia and saw violations including ballot stuffing. The election administration lacked independence, most media were partial and state authorities interfered unduly at different levels, the international observers said, complaining of frequent procedural violations. United Russia will obtain 238 seats in the 450-seat State Duma, an absolute majority but down sharply from the 315 seats it won in the last polls in 2007, election commission chief Vladimir Churov told reporters. The party only managed to win 49.54 percent of the vote, he said, a striking contrast from the 2007 polls staged when Putins popularity was at its peak and his party won over 64 percent. The word 'Putin has lost its magic force, concluded analyst Yury Korgunyuk of the INDEM research institute. These elections brought him nothing good. United Russias biggest opposition will be the Communist Party with 92 seats, the election commission said after almost all the votes were counted. It was followed by the A Just Russia party with 64 seats and the ultra-nationalist Liberal Democratic Party with 56 mandates. Turnout was just over 60 percent. United Russias poor showing came after Putin announced in September he planned to reclaim his old Kremlin job in March presidential polls, despite signs Russians may be growing disillusioned with his 11-year rule.