Russia election 2024: Russians to cast vote today amid Putin’s possible ‘extended rule’. All you need to know

Russia's presidential election is expected to secure victory for President Vladimir Putin, extending his tenure as the longest-serving Kremlin leader. Voting is set to occur in parts of Ukraine under Russian control, while a remote online voting system will be implemented for the first time.

Mausam Jha
First Published15 Mar 2024
FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with residents following a visit to the Solnechniy Dar greenhouse complex outside Stavropol, Russia, on March 5, 2024. Voters are heading to the polls in Russia for a three-day presidential election that is all but certain to extend Putin's rule after he clamped down on dissent. (Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)
FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with residents following a visit to the Solnechniy Dar greenhouse complex outside Stavropol, Russia, on March 5, 2024. Voters are heading to the polls in Russia for a three-day presidential election that is all but certain to extend Putin’s rule after he clamped down on dissent. (Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)(AP)

Russia is holding its presidential election from Friday as President Vladimir Putin is widely expected to secure victory, barring any unforeseen developments.

The election results are anticipated to be announced shortly thereafter, with the winner set to be inaugurated in May. If successful, Putin will begin another six-year term, extending his tenure as the longest-serving Kremlin leader since Josef Stalin.

Meanwhile, voting is set to occur in parts of Ukraine currently under Russian control and subject to Russian law. Ukraine has expressed its determination to remove all Russian soldiers from these annexed regions, Reuters reported.

Additionally, for the first time in a Russian presidential election, a remote online voting system will be implemented.

ANI reported that Russian citizens residing in Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram cast their votes for the Russian presidential elections at the booth arranged at the Honorary Consulate of the Russian Federation, Russian House.

Russia is poised to conduct presidential elections spanning from March 15 to 17, during which Russian citizens will cast their votes from Friday through Sunday across the country's 11 time zones. The Central Election Commission (CEC) of Russia has approved only three candidates to challenge incumbent President Vladimir Putin.

What do EU and NATO say?

Earlier, on Thursday, both the EU and NATO jointly stated that the upcoming election in Russia, anticipated to result in the re-election of Vladimir Putin as president, would not be considered free or fair. They emphasized that the Kremlin's suppression of all opposition voices has undermined the integrity of the electoral process.

“We know, given the track record of how votes are being prepared and organised in Russia under the current Kremlin administration and regime, how this will look like,” said European Union spokesman Peter Stano, as reported by AFP.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also said the ballot “in Russia will not be free and fair”.

Also Read: Vladimir Putin addresses nation ahead of elections, says ‘determined to go forward together’

“We know already that opposition politicians are in jail, some are killed, and many are in exile, and actually also some who tried to register as candidates have been denied that right,” he said.

Moreover, Putin's reelection would extend his rule until at least 2030. Following constitutional changes in 2020, he would then be able to run again and potentially stay in power until 2036.

What about opposition?

No legitimate opposition candidate has been permitted to appear on the ballot. Putin is officially pitted against three candidates endorsed by the Kremlin, representing political parties aligned with his policies and loyal to his leadership.

Also Read: Opposition, who? Vladimir Putin all set to secure another term with no rivals in Russia's ‘managed democracy’

The contenders standing against Putin include Leonid Slutsky of the Liberal Democratic Party, Vladislav Davankov of the New People Party, and Nikolay Kharitonov of the Communist Party. All three individuals are perceived to be sufficiently aligned with the Kremlin, and none have expressed opposition to Russia's military actions in Ukraine.

However, Boris Nadezhdin, an anti-war candidate, was disqualified from running, as was Yekaterina Duntsova.

Putin

Putin, aged 71 and a former KGB lieutenant colonel assumed the role of acting president after being appointed by Boris Yeltsin on the final day of 1999. He secured victory in the 2000 presidential election with 53.0% of the vote, followed by a landslide win in 2004 with 71.3% of the vote.

In 2008, Dmitry Medvedev ran for president while Putin served as prime minister. Putin then reclaimed the presidency in 2012, winning with 63.6% of the vote, and again in 2018 with an overwhelming 76.7% of the vote.

How long can a Russian president rule?

Putin's presidency has surpassed the tenures of all Russian leaders since Josef Stalin, surpassing even Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev's 18-year reign.

The 1993 Russian constitution, loosely based on France's 1958 constitution, was initially perceived in the West as a step toward democracy in post-Soviet Russia. Initially, it stipulated that a president could only serve two consecutive four-year terms.

Also Read: 2024 is the year of election extravaganza: Top 6 national polls that could shape global order

However, amendments made in 2008 extended the presidential term to six years, while those in 2020 effectively reset Putin's presidential term count to zero from 2024, potentially allowing him to stay in power until 2036. These changes also included provisions banning the cession of any territory.

(With inputs from agencies)

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HomeNewsworldRussia election 2024: Russians to cast vote today amid Putin’s possible ‘extended rule’. All you need to know

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