Putin eyes 4th term as Russians go to polls

By: AFP March 18,2018 - 11:54 PM

Russians voted Sunday in an election set to hand President Vladimir Putin a fourth Kremlin term, as the country is embroiled in a crisis with Britain and its allies over a spy poisoning.

With the vast country stretching across 11 time zones, polls opened in the Russian far east at 9 p.m. on Saturday and will close in Kaliningrad, the country’s exclave on the EU border, at 6 p.m. on Sunday.

With Putin’s main challenger Alexei Navalny barred from taking part in the poll for legal reasons, the result of the election is hugely predictable, with overall turnout remaining the only likely element of surprise.

Many analysts say that after 18 years of leadership — both as president and prime minister — Putin fatigue may be spreading across the country, and a lot of Russians are expected to skip the polls.

The Kremlin needs a high turnout to add greater legitimacy for a new mandate for Putin, who is already Russia’s longest-serving leader since Joseph Stalin.

A staged procedure

Casting his ballot in Moscow, Putin said he would be pleased with “any” result that gave him the right to continue serving as president.

“I am sure the programme I am offering is the right one,” Putin was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

Navalny has denounced the election as a sham and urged Russians to boycott the vote.

He has deployed more than 30,000 observers to monitor the polls and on Sunday, his team began publishing a rolling list of violations from polling stations around the country.

Rather than call it a vote, Navalny’s team is referring to Sunday’s election as “a staged procedure to re-appoint Putin.”

Subscribe to our regional newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
Read Next

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

TAGS: 4th, as, eyes, go to, polls, Putin, russian, term

Subscribe to our regional newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.