Thursday, 21 March, 2019

Voting begins in Russian Federation to give Putin another term

Voting begins in Russian Federation to give Putin another term Voting begins in Russian Federation to give Putin another term
Patty Aguilar | 19 March, 2018, 00:07

Among them are: incumbent President Vladimir Putin; Pavel Grudinin, director of the Lenin State Farm (nominated by the Communist Party of Russia); TV personality and socialite Ksenia Sobchak (nominated by Civil Initiative); Sergey Baburin, head of the Russian People's Union party; Maxim Suraikin, chairman of the Central Committee of the Communists of Russia party; Boris Titov, chairman of the Party of Growth and Russian Presidential Envoy for Entrepreneurs' Rights; Grigory Yavlinsky, head of the Yabloko Party's federal political committee; Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR).

Russians were voting Sunday in a presidential election set to hand Vladimir Putin a record fourth term, with officials reporting strong turnout but the opposition crying foul. "We wish to cooperate with all on equitable terms, on the basis of mutual respect and search for a balance of interest and mutually acceptable approaches", Lavrov said, according to the state-run Tass Russian News Agency.

He criticised the seven contenders challenging Mr Putin for failing to protest against ballot stuffing and other irregularities tainting the election, saying on his blog that "such candidates aren't worthy of your vote".

"I will not go to vote".

Writing in his Telegraph newspaper column during the week, former UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, said: "In the election, President Putin will genuinely win it".

Putin ran again for president in 2012, and he probably wants to beat the 64 percent of the vote and 65 percent turnout he got that year. "I do not see any point for me in going to the election", said Alexei Khvorostov, a resident of Krasnodar, in southern Russian Federation.

More than 1,500 global observers are joining thousands of Russian observers to watch the vote. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine four years ago, earning Putin admiration from many Russians and condemnation from the West.

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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny says he boycotted the presidential election and advises other Russians to do the same.

Rising tensions with the West over the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal in Britain, and new sanctions from Washington over alleged election meddling, strengthen the impression of a Russian Federation at loggerheads with the rest of the world.

Moscow denies any involvement in the attack and has vowed to retaliate against the measures announced by London.

Opinion polls have given incumbent President Vladimir Putin, support of around 70 percent, or almost 10 times the backing of his nearest challenger.

She said "every extra percentage point" for Mr Putin is a result of those who refuse or do not bother to vote. While it is still Saturday night in most Russian regions, it is 08.00 a.m. Sunday in Kamchatka and Chukotka, when polling stations open the doors for voters.

Authorities have pulled out all the stops to ensure a huge turnout, offering food discount vouchers and prizes for the best selfies taken at polling stations after a sexually-charged online campaign.

Eighty-five Russian regions cover eleven time zones.

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