Putin storms to landslide election win

19 March, 2018, 12:53 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Are Russia's elections fair?

Nearly 55.5 million of voters supported his candidacy in the election that took place on Sunday paving the way for Putin, 65, to lead the country until 2024 after which he is constitutionally obliged to stand down, reports Sputnik news.

Vladimir Putin is certain to win a fourth term in Sunday's election, so voter apathy is widespread.

Putin addressed thousands of people who rallied outside the Kremlin on Sunday to thank them for their support and promised new achievements. He is only second to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin when it comes to tenure of Putin in power in Russian Federation.

In Moscow, where Putin received his lowest share of the vote at the 2012 presidential election, some 3,000 election observers recruited by Navalny spread out across polling stations.

Authorities used both the carrot and the stick to boost engagement in the polls. In Moscow, authorities spent $870,000 on balloons and decorations at polling stations.

With ballots counted from 60 percent of the vast country's precincts, Putin won more than 75 percent of the vote, the Central Elections Commission said.

Election authorities said turnout nationwide Sunday was 34.7 percent at noon Moscow time.

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny came within just 74 points of Putin, clocking in at 0 percent. Several showed election officials stuffing boxes with ballot papers.

But the electoral commission dismissed most concerns, saying monitors sometimes misinterpret what they see.

Zyuganov called the result "brilliant" and said Grudinin was a "candidate flawless for the post of prime-minister".


Putin has already served two stints as president from 2000 to 2008, and again from 2012 to 2018. Since first being elected as president in 2000, Putin has stamped his total authority on Russian Federation muzzling opposition and reasserting Moscow's lost might overseas.

"There is no alternative", Zhenya Kiva, a 20-year-old student, said earlier in the day, after casting his ballot for Mr. Putin.

Most people who spoke to AFP said they voted for Putin, praising him for restoring stability and national pride after the humiliating collapse of the USSR.

Jan Petersen, OSCE Ambassador and head of OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission said, "I can assure you that we have been observing throughout the Russian Federation, on important issues, like how it is administered (the election); how the legal framework is; the media situation; how the campaign is going".

Russia's parliament, which is controlled by Putin's United Russia party, moved the vote date back to March 18 to coincide with the fourth anniversary of Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

Ahead of the vote, a new crisis broke out with the West as Britain implicated Putin in the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal with a Soviet-designed nerve agent. Only Russian diplomats were allowed to access official Russian premises.

The election came amid escalating tensions with the West, with reports that Moscow was behind the nerve-agent poisoning this month of a former Russian double agent in Britain and that its internet trolls had waged an extensive campaign to undermine the 2016 US presidential election.

As the embodiment of Russia's resurgent power on the world stage, Putin commands enormous loyalty among Russians.

Putin will now face a raft of challenges, from a stagnant economy to managing foreign entanglements in Syria and Ukraine.

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