Published: Tue, March 20, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Putin elected as Russia's president for another six-year term

Putin elected as Russia's president for another six-year term

Putin's fourth term as president will extend until 2024 the first Kremlin leader to serve two decades in power since Josef Stalin.

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

The victory of 65-year-old former KGB officer, Vladimir Putin was asserted on Sunday itself.

Russian authorities had sought to ensure a large turnout to bolster the image that Putin's so-called "managed democracy" is robust and offers Russians true choices. And what's next for Russian Federation?

"There is no feeling that another six years will become Putin's last in power", liberal newspaper Vedomosti said in an editorial.

As of late Sunday, it was unclear whether the Kremlin had achieved the magic "70/70" formula: A 70% voter turnout, with Putin winning 70% of the votes.

According to preliminary results, he has secured a decisive lead with some 75 percent of vote after around half of the ballots were processed.

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Put had faced seven minor candidates on the ballot. And the Kremlin remains at odds with Washington after the United States hit Russian Federation with new sanctions over its meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

As U.S. authorities investigate alleged Russian interference in President Donald Trump's election, Moscow has warned of possible meddling in the Russian vote. There are suspicions of forced voting by groups bussed into polling stations.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine four years ago, earning Putin admiration from many Russians and condemnation from the West.

Yevgeny Roizman, a Kremlin opponent who is mayor of the industrial city of Yekaterinburg, said officials were using inducements to persuade people to vote.

He is calling for a boycott of the election, saying it is an undemocratic farce, and deploying supporters to collect evidence of anyone rigging the ballot to inflate turnout and support for Putin.

Putin extolled them for their support - "I am a member of your team" - and he promised them that "we are bound for success".

Putin, who has been accused of interfering with the USA presidential election in 2016, voted at a polling station in central Moscow on a bitterly cold but sunny morning.

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Since first being elected president in 2000, Putin has stamped his total authority on the world's biggest country, muzzling opposition, putting television under state control and reasserting Moscow's standing overseas.

The election took place on the fourth anniversary of Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula, which provoked global criticism but boosted Putin's popularity at home.

Russian officials have suggested that Britain was responsible for the poisoning of the Skripals, and had samples of the nerve agent at its chemical weapons facility, Porton Down, which is about 8 miles from Salisbury.

Putin's re-election comes amid rising tension with the West, particularly with the United Kingdom, which last week accused Russian Federation of using a nerve agent to poison a former spy and his daughter living in England.

In Latin America, the presidents of the leftist regimes in Venezuela and Bolivia both effusively congratulated Putin on his "overwhelming" victory.

"A satisfied Putin will come out and give a speech", he said.

He expressed hope that Putin will continue to stand up to the United States and the West and will improve living standards at home. Putin has been president or prime minister since December 1999, making him the only leader that a generation of Russians have ever known.

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Backed by state TV, the ruling party, and credited with an approval rating around 80 percent, his victory was never in doubt . Schiff was also referring to the fact that Putin's biggest political opponent, Alexei Navalny , was barred from the race.


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