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Russian presidential election 2024: Things you should know


A campaign poster at one of the remote Northern Fleet bases on the Kola Peninsula, Russia, February 28, 2024. /CFP
A campaign poster at one of the remote Northern Fleet bases on the Kola Peninsula, Russia, February 28, 2024. /CFP

A campaign poster at one of the remote Northern Fleet bases on the Kola Peninsula, Russia, February 28, 2024. /CFP

Russia will hold its presidential election on March 17 in this busy election year. Here are some key things you should know.

Who is running?

The Russian Central Election Commission (CEC) has registered four candidates that will run for president in the upcoming election, namely incumbent president Vladimir Putin; leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) Leonid Slutsky; Vladislav Davankov, nominated by the country's New People Party; and Nikolai Kharitonov, nominated by the Russian Communist Party.

Slutsky, as head of the lower house of parliament's foreign affairs committee, has been a prominent backer of Kremlin foreign policy. "Our key platform is that all regions should enjoy an equal standard of living and social guarantees," he said after accepting the nomination by his party in December.

But Slutsky later told reporters he "won't take away votes from the President of Russia," saying that a vote for him and the LDPR is absolutely not a vote against Putin.

Davankov is a deputy speaker of the lower house of parliament, the State Duma. His party was established in 2020 and holds 15 seats in the 450-member State Duma.

Kharitonov was his party's candidate in 2004, finishing a distant second to Putin.

Putin, 71, running as an independent, gathered 315,000 signatures across Russia. Russian election law requires independent candidates to present at least 300,000 signatures to get on the ballot.

Election process

This year's Russian election will be held over three days starting March 15, the first time that multi-day voting has been used for a presidential election.

It will also be the country's first presidential election in which voters can cast ballots online, with over 3.1 million Russians applying to vote via the e-voting system.

A second round of voting would take place on April 7 if no candidate gets more than half the vote. The next legislative elections, which form the State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, are scheduled for 2026.

Early voting has already begun in remote areas, with approximately 70,000 people able to cast their ballots in Russia's Far Eastern Federal District, TASS reported. The region makes up more than a third of Russia's total territory but has only about 5 percent of its population.

The results of the election are expected to be made public no later than March 28, CEC deputy chairman Nikolay Bulayev has said.

State of Russia

Recent polls suggest Putin is likely to extend his rule for another six years. The incumbent leader has the support of about 80 percent of voters, according to a survey conducted by Russia's Public Opinion Foundation in February, while the other three contenders are expected to get around 3 percent each.

Russia's economy has shown resilience despite Western sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine. The country's GDP grew by 3.6 percent in 2023, Putin said during a government meeting on economic issues.

Putin attributed the growth to Russia's domestic capabilities, as industrial production went up 3.5 percent over the year and the manufacturing industry grew 7.5 percent.

In late January, the International Monetary Fund more than doubled its forecast for the pace of Russia's economic growth this year, raising it from 1.1 percent in October to 2.6 percent.

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