Vladimir Putin wins Russian presidential election with 76.67 per cent vote, set to be re-elected for another six years

19 March 2018, 11:56 AM
Vladimir Putin - File Photo
Vladimir Putin - File Photo

Vladimir Putin won the Russian presidential elections with a landslide majority on Monday. Putin is set to be re-elected as president of the Russian Federation for another six years.

His fourth term as president will extend until 2024, making him the first Kremlin leader to serve two decades in power since Josef Stalin.

With ballots from 80 percent of Russia’s precincts counted by early Monday, Putin had amassed 76 per cent of the vote.

Putin is looking all but set to serve a fourth term as the Russian President. He told cheering supporters in a triumphant but brief speech that “we are bound for success.”

There had been no doubt that Putin would win in his fourth electoral contest; he faced seven minor candidates and his most prominent foe was blocked from the ballot.

His only real challenge was to run up the tally so high that he could claim an indisputable mandate.

Observers and individual voters reported widespread violations including ballot-box stuffing and forced voting, but the claims are unlikely to dilute the power of Russia’s longest-serving leader since Josef Stalin.

As the embodiment of Russia’s resurgent power on the world stage, Putin commands immense loyalty among Russians. More than 30,000 crowded into Manezh Square adjacent to the Kremlin in temperatures of minus-10 degrees (15-degrees F) for a victory concert and to await his words.

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

Then he left the stage after speaking for less than two minutes, a seemingly perfunctory appearance that encapsulated the election’s predictability.

Since he took the helm in Russia on New Year’s Eve 1999 after Boris Yeltsin’s surprise resignation, Putin’s electoral power has centered on stability, a quality cherished by Russians after the chaotic breakup of the Soviet Union and the “wild capitalism” of the Yeltsin years.

First Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 07:43 AM

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