Vladimir Putin may definitely celebrate victory in the presidential election in Russia. According to the Russian Central Election Committee, he beats all other candidates with 76.65 percent of votes, with 99% ballots processed.
Pavel Grudinin collected almost 12 percent; Vladimir Zhirinovsky gained 5.68. The rest, including Kseniya Sobchak and Grigoriy Yavlinski, have not made it through the two-percent threshold.
According to the Russian media, Putin has enjoyed the record-large support of voters in his entire political career. In the 2000 presidential race, he gained 53 percent of votes; 71.31 in 2004, and 63.6 percent in 2012.
Russian Central Electoral Commission registered Putin as a presidential candidate on February 6. He has been Russian President since 2000, except the period from 2008 to 2012, when he was a PM. Earlier it was reported that Putin could vote in annexed Sevastopol.
The election date, March 18, was not approved right away. First, elections were planned to be held on March 11. However, with the amendments to Russian law, the government decided to hold elections on the fourth anniversary of Crimea annexation – March 18, 2018. That’s the day when the Agreement on Crimea’s and Sevastopol’s joining of Russian Federations was signed. Two days later the peninsula conducted an illegal referendum concerning “joining Russian Federation”.
Despite Putin, there are seven more candidates: Sergey Baburin (Russian All-People’s Union), Pavel Grudinin (Communist Party), Vladimir Zhirinovsky (Liberal Democratic Party), Grigoriy Yavlinski (Apple), Kseniya Sobchak (Civic Initiative’s), Maxim Suraykin (Communists of Russia), Boris Titov (Party of Growth). For the record, Putin is an independent candidate.
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