Saturday, 23 March, 2019

Russia's Vladimir Putin Wins Another Term

Vladimir Putin wins fourth presidential term gains massive mandate by clinching 77% of votes Russia's Vladimir Putin Wins Another Term
Patty Aguilar | 19 March, 2018, 19:03

Russian President Vladimir Putin has secured a fourth term in power after receiving a record level of the national vote.

"For most Russians, the time under Putin's leadership has been a time when the economy turned around and the country became more prosperous", he said.

The accusations ultimately bolstered Putin among a populace that sees him as their defender against a hostile outside world and the embodiment of Russia's resurgent power on the world stage.

That conflict has since claimed more than 10 000 lives. She was the only candidate to criticize Putin.

The Kremlin's longest-serving leader since Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin had 75.1 percent of the vote with more than half the ballots counted, putting him on track for a new six-year term. But that stability has been bolstered by a suppression of dissent, the withering of independent media and the top-down control of politics called "managed democracy".

Russian Federation held its presidential election on Sunday.

A doctor at one of the city's hospitals told the AP how one kind of voting pressure works.

They arrived soon after the doors opened.

Observer Sergei Krivonogov said voters were taking pictures of the pocket calendars or leaflets that poll workers distributed, seemingly as proof of voting.

Navalny himself tweeted a link to a video that purported to show ballot stuffing, where people post multiple votes in one ballot box, in a polling station in Russia's far east.

When the journalist brought up her Sunday row with Aleksey Navalny, who strongly rejected Sobchak's offer of alliance and accused her of everything from hypocrisy to actually accepting a "tremendous sum of money" from the Kremlin for running in the election, Sobchak answered that she was disappointed with the discussion and considered all charges against her "ridiculous". They suspended the chief of a polling station near Moscow where a ballot stuffing incident was reported and sealed the ballot box.

The Russian leader's popularity remains high despite his suppression of dissent and reproach from the West over Russia's increasingly aggressive stance in world affairs and alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

Putin then served a term as prime minister - although few doubted who was really in charge - and returned as president in 2012. The main opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, was barred from the race because of an embezzlement conviction that he said was manufactured by the Kremlin.

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The comment came on the same day the Trump administration announced it is enacting new sanctions on Russian individuals indicted last month by special counsel Robert Mueller.

In his first public comments on the poisoning, Putin on Sunday referred to the allegations against Russian Federation as "nonsense".

Avakov pointed to the Russian annexation of Crimea and its support for the rebels in eastern Ukraine as reasons behind the decision. But Mr Putin's popularity remained strong, apparently buttressed by nationalist pride.

In his next six years, Putin is likely to assert Russia's power overseas even more strongly.

He has sought to use the campaign to emphasise Russia's role as a major world power, boasting of its "invincible" new nuclear weapons in a major pre-election speech.

Valentina Popova, a 77-year-old retiree, said she supported Putin's foreign policies and would vote for him.

But the 65-year-old former KGB officer is certain to extend his term to 2024 despite a litany of domestic problems like widespread poverty and poor healthcare following a lacklustre campaign.

Voters cast ballots from the Pacific coast to Siberia and Moscow.

Complaints of ballot-rigging triggered the biggest street protests of the Putin era in 2011 and before the 2012 presidential election.

"They think of it as a vote of confidence (in Putin)".

Russia's parliament, which is controlled by Putin's United Russia party, moved the vote date back to March 18 to coincide with the fourth anniversary of Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

"Who am I voting for?"

Opinion polls give Putin, the incumbent, support of around 70 per cent, or almost 10 times the backing of his nearest challenger.

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