Putin urges Russians to take part in polls

The Russian Federation Council, or the Upper House of the Russian Parliament or Duma, officially scheduled the presidential election on March 17…reports Asian Lite News

President Vladimir Putin called on Russians to take part in the upcoming presidential election to be held on March 15-17, state news agency TASS reported on Thursday.

“We need to confirm our consolidation, our determination to go forward together. Each vote counts. That is why I am calling on you to realise your right to vote in the coming three days,” Putin said in a video address ahead of the voting.

According to TASS, President Putin addressed the nation ahead of federal elections eight times–in 2000, 2004, 2016, and 2018 (twice before the presidential election and after announcing their results), in 2021, and 2020, before the nationwide referendum on constitutional amendments.

Meanwhile, early voting for Russia’s presidential election was ongoing abroad, with over 40,000 people casting their ballots, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

“Early voting is underway. It has already taken place in 23 countries, and 29 election commissions are supervising it. As of March 12, more than 40,000 Russians have already voted,” the diplomat said. “Voting is taking place without any serious incidents,” she said.

She added that local Russian officials were ready to provide any assistance at the first request of their fellow citizens.

The Russian Federation Council, or the Upper House of the Russian Parliament or Duma, officially scheduled the presidential election on March 17.

The Russian Central Election Commission (CEC) announced subsequently that voting will take place over three days–from March 15 to 17, making it Russia’s first three-day presidential election.

President Putin is widely expected to sail through the polls, securing a fifth term in office and a full third decade as Russia’s supreme leader, CNN reported.

With the death of imprisoned Russian Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, it’s fair to say Putin’s political career has reached the president-for-life stage, CNN noted its report, adding that his re-anointment lays bare an uncomfortable fact for Russia’s future political stability.

The President and his circle have not made any visible preparations for a post-Putin era, it added.

Putin is the longest-serving leader since Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, CNN noted, adding that in 2020, Russian voters endorsed constitutional changes that would allow him to stay in power until 2036.

Even before Putin announced his candidacy, the Kremlin made it clear that it did not see any alternatives on the horizon to his system of one-man rule, the report added. (ANI)

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