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Russia’s Vladimir Putin registers as Presidential candidate – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: Russia’s Vladimir Putin registered as presidential candidate on Monday, state media reported. Despite being closely associated with the dominant United Russia party, Putin is running as an independent, a move that is expected to secure his leadership for another six years, AP reported.
On January 22, Putin’s campaign staff officially submitted scores of boxes containing signed petitions, solidifying his candidacy for the March presidential election.Russian regulations mandate that independent candidates must present a minimum of 300,000 signatures from 40 regions to qualify for the ballot. Putin’s campaign staff reportedly brought in 95 cardboard boxes filled with signed petitions to the Central Elections Commission, surpassing the required number. Earlier reports indicated that the campaign had collected over 2 million signatures.
At 71 years old, Putin is already the longest-serving Kremlin leader since the era of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. Having amended the constitution twice in the past to extend his tenure, Putin is positioned to potentially remain in power until his mid-80s. The upcoming election is seen as a crucial moment for the Kremlin, requiring the projection of an aura of legitimacy for the balloting to be considered a genuine contest.
To secure a convincing victory, political analysts emphasize the importance of high turnout among Putin’s supporters and a subdued presence of critics at the polls. Ekatarina Schulmann, a political scientist and nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Russia Eurasia Centre in Berlin, suggests that for Putin to win, his critics must remain at home without any “glimmer of hope.”
As of now, the Central Elections Commission has approved three candidates for the ballot, namely Nikolai Kharitonov of the Communist Party, Leonid Slutsky of the Liberal Democrats, and Vladislav Davankov of the New People party. However, none of these candidates are perceived to pose a serious challenge to Putin’s anticipated victory in the upcoming election.
(With agency inputs)





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