Russia to elect president in three-day voting
The presidential elections in Russia began on Friday and are set to continue until Sunday. As of Saturday morning, turnout stands at close to 40 percent, and Vladimir Putin's victory appears almost certain.
Russia to elect president in three-day voting
Geurasia

Russia to elect president in three-day voting

Photo: AFP/Vladimir Nikolayev
Eurasia 16/03/2024 11:45

The presidential elections in Russia began on Friday and are set to continue until Sunday. As of Saturday morning, turnout stands at close to 40 percent, and Vladimir Putin's victory appears almost certain.

The turnout in the presidential elections in Russia at eight in the morning of the second day of voting was 38.35%, said Deputy Chairman of the Central Election Commission Nikolai Bulaev, RIA Novosti reported

"The turnout yesterday was, in my opinion, very good, together with remote electronic voting, with people who voted remotely, the turnout was 38.35%," he said.
AFP/Natalia Kolesnikova
In the 2018 elections, when voting took place on the same day, the turnout by 10:00 Moscow time was 16.55%, by noon - 34.72%, by 17:00 - 51.9%. The overall turnout then exceeded 67%.

The first polling stations opened on the Kamchatka and Chukotka on Thursday at 23:00 Moscow time. At 9:00 a.m. on Friday, polling stations were opened in the westernmost region of Russia — Kaliningrad Region.

Almost 2.6 million Russians cast their votes early in the elections.

For three days, polling stations will be open until 20:00 local time. Voting will end on March 17.

There are four candidates running for the presidency: Leonid Slutsky, Nikolay Kharitonov, Vladislav Davankov and Vladimir Putin.
AFP
According to Associated Press, at least half a dozen cases of vandalism at polling stations were reported, including a firebombing and several people pouring green liquid into ballot boxes.

Russian regions bordering Ukraine reported a spike in shelling and repeated attacks this week by Ukrainian forces, which Putin described Friday as an attempt to frighten residents and derail the vote.

“Those enemy strikes haven’t been and won’t be left unpunished,” he vowed at a meeting of his Security Council.

“I’m sure that our people, the people of Russia, will respond to that with even greater cohesion,” Putin said. “Whom did they decide to scare? The Russian people? It has never happened and it will never happen.”

European Council President Charles Michel mordantly criticised Friday on the vote’s preordained nature. “Would like to congratulate Vladimir Putin on his landslide victory in the elections starting today. No opposition. No freedom. No choice,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter. Russian officials said voting proceeded in an orderly fashion.

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