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Monday, March 19, 2018

Russian elections: no surprise


In several schools, observers reported irregularities, including pucherazos made in front of the television cameras by members of the electoral commissions, who acted without fear of the consequences of their actions. The candidate of the Communist Party, denounced that the elections had been the "dirtiest of those that have taken place in the post-Soviet space."

Vladimir Putin, 65, has won the Russian presidential election with its best percentage in history, 76.66% of the votes with the vote almost completed, with 99.8% of the recount. The president, who met the equivalent of 56.2 million votes, also conjured up the danger of abstention, according to the participation data provided by the Central Electoral Commission on Monday, which represented the 67.4%, and more than 73.3 million people. The second most voted candidate this Sunday was the communist millionaire Pável Grudinin, who won 11.8% of the votes (some 8.6 million voters); followed by the ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovski, with 5.6% (equivalent to 4.1 million).

The journalist Ksenia Sobchak, the third woman to participate in a presidential election in the history of Russia, achieved 1.67% (equivalent to 1.2 million voters), while the historic liberal leader Grigory Yavlinski got the backing of 1, 04% of voters, according to France Presse. The other three presidential candidates did not overcome the 1% barrier. Putin appeared at night in a concert that was held in the center of Moscow to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the annexation of Crimea. On the stage, radiant and euphoric, the leader thanked his followers for the support provided and the result achieved. According to Putin, "our great national team has won" and "success awaits us". "We need unity to move forward," the president shouted before a crowd that began shouting: "Russia, Russia."

In a subsequent press conference, according to what media reported, the Russian president called for "unity" to make "a radical leap" and insisted on the idea of "team". The president interpreted his victory as a "recognition" of what was done, "confidence" for what he does and "hope" for what will be done. On possible changes in the government, Putin said he will decide on this after his inauguration, next May. The result of the elections is equivalent to a "referendum," according to a member of his electoral team before knowing the final results.

In 2000, the current head of state obtained 52.94% of the votes; in 2004, he achieved 71.31% and in 2012, 63.60%. Dmitri Medvedev, reached 70.28% when he was elected president for four years in 2008. It was under his presidency when the legislation was modified to extend the mandate from 4 to 6 years and to allow a president to remain in office more than two mandates. An idea that has even get into Trump’s head. As for participation, it was 65.34% back in 2012, after 69.81% in 2008, when Medvedev was voted, and of 68.70% in 2000 when Putin was elected president for the first time, after being appointed as successor by Boris Yeltsin.

Putin received more than 90% of the votes in five regions or republics of the country, including Crimea. The Russian president especially needed this participation to show the world his right to the annexation of Crimea and its legitimacy with an action that has confronted his former Western partners, according to the politician Vladimir Rizhkov. The truth is that this was to be expected, and the controversial leader enjoys the approval of his citizens.