Russia’s Presidential Election Amid Predictions of Putin’s Continued Reign

Russias Presidential Election

New Delhi: Russia embarks on a historic presidential election today, extending the voting period to three days for the first time in its electoral history. Eligible Russian citizens, defined as those over 18 years of age and not currently incarcerated for criminal offenses, are set to cast their votes. The anticipation is high, with election results expected to be announced by the evening of March 17, Moscow time.

A Broad Electorate of Over 123 Million Voters
The Russian Election Commission has disclosed that the electorate encompasses over 123 million voters, including citizens residing in Ukrainian territories occupied by Russia. Additionally, approximately 1.9 million Russian voters are living abroad. In a novel move, Russia has introduced online voting, available in 27 regions, including Crimea, the contentious region annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

Vladimir Putin: The Uncontested Incumbent
Forecasts by international media outlets, particularly The New York Times, suggest a preordained outcome with Vladimir Putin poised for reelection. Putin’s uninterrupted governance over the past 24 years has been marked by the sidelining of political adversaries, many of whom are either imprisoned or disqualified from running by the Election Commission.

A Path Cleared for Decades of Leadership
In a controversial move in 2021, Putin enacted legislation allowing him to maintain the presidency until 2036 potentially. This law overrides the previous restriction of two consecutive presidential terms, a limitation that led Putin to step back in 2008, only to return as Prime Minister until 2012, and then as President again. The 2021 law now permits Putin to seek reelection indefinitely, despite having already served two consecutive terms.

Russias Presidential Election

This election comes amidst heightened scrutiny from global observers, who question the fairness and freedom of the electoral process in Russia. With Putin’s opponents largely silenced, the election is widely viewed as a formality cementing Putin’s extended rule.