Today, Friday, December 8, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his candidacy for the presidential elections scheduled for March 17, 2024, according to the three major Russian news agencies.
This announcement came on the sidelines of the awards ceremony in the Kremlin. “I will run for president”Mr. Putin told a veteran of the conflict in Ukraine. “I understand there is no other choice today.”He also announced, according to pictures broadcast by the state television channel Rossiya 24.
“Our president has never backed down and will never shirk his responsibilities. Today I proved it again.”Valentina Matvienko, Speaker of the Senate of Parliament, responded to the telegram.
This nomination is not surprising at all, given that Putin has ruled Russia for nearly a quarter of a century. No critic of the Kremlin should be able to participate in the vote, while the authorities have for years suppressed dissent. This repression has also accelerated with the attack in Ukraine.
The Russian leader, 71, has the right, thanks to the controversial 2020 constitutional reform, to run for office in 2024, and then in 2030, making it theoretically possible to remain in power until 2036, when he will be 84.
In power since 2000
The vote is scheduled for March 17, shortly after the second anniversary of the ongoing offensive in Ukraine, and the eve of the 10th anniversary of Russia’s 2014 annexation of the first Ukrainian territory, Crimea.
After a 2022 marked by setbacks on the front and a barrage of Western sanctions, Vladimir Putin appears at the end of 2023 to be in a better position with the failure of Ukraine’s counteroffensive this summer and the collapse of European and American support. In Kyiv and the recovery of the national economy.
Almost all major opponents, such as anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, have been thrown in prison or pushed into exile, and any criticism of the attack on Ukraine is severely repressed.
Mr. Putin was president from 2000 to 2008, and has been president again since 2012. Triggered by term limits, he ceded the Kremlin from 2008 to 2012 to his ally, Dmitry Medvedev, but as prime minister remains Russia’s strongman.
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The Russian Electoral Commission announced on Friday that voting will take place over three days, from March 15 to 17, in a measure implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic and denounced by the opposition as a means of facilitating fraud. Elections are also scheduled to be held in Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine, where martial law is currently in place.
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