As Russia prepares to hold the next presidential elections on March 15 to 17, and the date was accordingly approved by Federation Council and the State Duma, the twisting political landscape offers the assurance that President Vladimir Putin will inarguably be the winner. On December 8, Putin announced plans to run for president in 2024, as he decorated servicemen with Hero of Russia awards.
By law, the upper house of the Russian parliament schedules the presidential election no earlier than 100 days and no later than 90 days before the voting date. The Federation Council, the upper chamber of legislators, adopted a resolution which also signals the start of the election campaign.
Russia’s Central Elections Commission (CEC) headed by Ella Pamfilova has seriously begun working on all modalities to ensure free and fair voting. “We know how much people liked exactly this form of voting. There are more opportunities for people to plan their time, it broadens the electoral capabilities of our citizens. Three-day voting is becoming traditional for the electoral system. It took place for the first time during the pandemic to ensure voters’ safety and, as time passed, so the format has appealed to a majority of voters due to its other advantages,” she explained in one of her speeches.
Putin’s level of public trust and approval ratings are expectedly high these several years, and late December polls have found him in an upswing, reaching 80%, according to a public opinion poll conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) on December 18-24. The public opinion polls also expressed optimism for efforts further improvement of economy and social welfare under the current political administration.
United Russia party, the ruling political party undoubtedly supports Putin’s presidential candidacy at its congress on December 17, as he declared to run for re-election to fifth term in Russia’s highest office. A self-nominated candidate is required to collect 300,000 signatures by the end of January. He has, since then, formalized the necessary documents, including notarized minutes of an assembly of voters who support his nomination, a statement of consent to run for the office with the Central Election Commission (CEC).
Russia is set to hold a presidential election from March 15-17, 2024. In a statement posted to Telegram as on December 26, there are eight (8) people have already submitted documents to the Central Election Commission for registering as Russian presidential candidates, Central Election Commission Deputy Chairman Nikolay Bulayev.
As in the previous presidential election in 2018, United Russia continues playing an even more substantial role in this political campaign. “It is important for the president to emphasize yet again the consolidation of society and all political forces amid the special military operation,” political consultant Dmitry Fetisov noted in remarks to local Russian media.
According the documents of the Central Election Commission (CEC), the last presidential election was held on March 18, 2018. The CEC registered eight candidates:
– Sergey Baburin, chairman of the conservative Russian All-People’s Union party;
– Pavel Grudinin, director of the Lenin State Farm in the Moscow Region, representing the KPRF;
– Vladimir Zhirinovsky, chairman of the LDPR and head of the party’s State Duma faction;
– Vladimir Putin, incumbent president of the Russian Federation;
– Ksenia Sobchak, television hostess and personality;
– Maxim Suraykin, chairman of the Central Committee of the left-wing Communists of Russia party;
– Boris Titov, presidential commissioner for entrepreneurs’ rights and chairman of the pro-business Party of Growth;
– Grigory Yavlinsky, chairman of the Federal Political Committee of the liberal Yabloko party.
Vladimir Putin ran as a self-nominated candidate, while all other candidates were nominated by their respective parties. Pavel Grudinin ran on the KPRF line, while Ksenia Sobchak represented the Civic Initiative party.
Plucked from obscurity, Putin took over from the first President Boris Yeltsin and has now become the longest-serving Russian or Soviet leader since Joseph Stalin. According to his biographical records, he studied law at the Leningrad State University and thereafter trained at the 401st KGB School in Okhta, Leningrad. He then served in Dresden, East Germany for 18 years and later in the St. Petersburg administration. Following Yeltsin’s resignation, Putin became acting president and, in less than four months, was elected to his first term as president.
Due to constitutional limitations of two consecutive presidential terms, Putin served as prime minister again from 2008 to 2012 under Dmitry Medvedev. He returned to the presidency in 2012. In April 2021, after a referendum, he signed into law constitutional amendments that included one allowing him to run for re-election twice more, potentially extending his presidency to 2036.
That however, Russia’s economy has been improving and transforming into a post-Soviet modern state. According to several reports read by this author, Putin has often and several times indicated that overcoming the consequences of the world economic crisis as well as the consolidating and achieving economic sovereignty are his principal tasks as the unique political leader.
Beyond those remarkable achievements even under stringent sanctions, Putin and his executive body has shown practical commitment to harnessing untapped potentials for socio-economic growth, leveraging unto home-grown innovative solutions to Russia’s development challenges, as well as contributing towards building more resilient economy for Russia’s 147 million people.
On February 24, 2024, marks the start of the third year of Russia’s special military operation in neighboring former Soviet republic of Ukraine. Despite stringent sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe as a collective support for Ukraine, Russia’s economy is growing leaps and bounds. The sanctions intended to cripple its economic standing rather serve ultimately as driving forces to focus on internal issues, it is speedily transforming the economy and industry. In practical terms, it provides a very valuable experience for Russia.
Research and analysis show that Putin is a distinguished powerful leader. He has at his heart protecting Russia’s sovereignty, plans to consolidate the economic objectives diverse spheres and that will guarantee welfare support for the population. These years under review and beyond, Putin already has under his umbrella remarkable achievements and there are explicit credible signs of commitment to harnessing untapped potentials towards building more resilient society, creating wealth and prosperity for the Russian people. Ushering in 2024 and beyond, of course, will have its own unpredictable geopolitical challenges, a critical turning point, in this emerging multipolar world.