In the Russian media, Putin’s approval is being celebrated like a global sensation. It’s not a surprise. And what about possible competitors?
Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin has officially received approval from Russia’s Central Election Commission as the fourth candidate to run in the presidential election in March. As returning officer Ella Pamfilova announced in Moscow on Monday, the remaining applicants have until January 31 to submit the necessary signatures of eligible voters and documents for registration as candidates.
So far, only candidates who are considered to have no chance or who even support Putin have been admitted. As representatives of the parliamentary parties, they did not have to submit any signatures of support. The election will take place from March 15th to 17th.
The 71-year-old Putin, who has been in power for almost a quarter of a century, did not want to be nominated by the Kremlin party United Russia, but rather run as an individual candidate. He had the necessary supporting signatures collected, which were now found to be valid after a random check. Russia’s media reported Putin’s admission as if it were a global sensation, even though there was no doubt about it.
Nadezhdin challenges Putin
It is questionable, however, whether the candidate Boris Nadezhdin, who is also supported by Russia’s anti-Kremlin opposition, will be allowed to vote. The 60-year-old calls for an end to the war against Ukraine. So far, Nadezhdin has collected more than 200,000 signatures from supporters, some of whom had waited in long queues – about twice what is needed.
However, the electoral commission repeatedly declares many signatures invalid due to formal objections. In the sample of 60,000 signatures for Putin’s candidacy, the proportion of invalid supporter names was 0.15 percent. There has been speculation for days about whether the liberal politician Nadezhdin will be admitted. Many observers rule this out.
Putin’s election victory is considered certain. It would be his fifth term in office, which he had made possible through a constitutional amendment. In 2030, the former intelligence chief, who has been waging war against Ukraine for almost two years, could run for election again – as president for another six years. In Russia, the Kremlin candidate has always been declared the winner of the election.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.