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Kremlin hints at skipping election ahead of Vladimir Putin’s anticipated victory

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Russian President Vladimir Putin chairing a Security Council meeting via a video conference at the Kremlin in Moscow on August 4, 2023. — AFP
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairing a Security Council meeting via a video conference at the Kremlin in Moscow on August 4, 2023. — AFP

Russian President Vladimir Putin has the option to forgo next year’s presidential elections, as he is anticipated to secure an “obvious” victory in re-election, according to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.

The prospect of Vladimir Putin seeking a sixth presidential term aligns with pre-established constitutional amendments that allow him to serve until 2036.

Although elections are a hallmark of democracy, Peskov remarked that not holding them is “theoretically possible” given Putin’s anticipated victory, The Moscow Times reported.

Additionally, he acknowledged that his comments were his “personal opinion,” clarifying that they followed his interview with the New York Times where he suggested a 90% victory for Putin in the upcoming election.

While Peskov later expressed being misquoted by the publication, he maintained his stance to RBC News, emphasising that his forecast of Putin’s strong electoral showing is rooted in the societal support for the Russian leader.

The next presidential election in Russia is slated for 17 March 2024, amidst a tightening clampdown on criticism of Russia’s actions in Ukraine which has led to the restriction of anti-war protests, with prominent opposition figures seeking refuge abroad to avoid potential imprisonment.

In the meantime, numerous regional elections are scheduled for September this year across Russia including the election of 18 regional heads, members of 16 regional parliaments, 12 town councils, and the mayor of Khabarovsk in the Far East, all by direct vote.

Furthermore, the Kremlin is expected to hold a vote in the four Ukrainian territories it claimed to have annexed in the previous fall.

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