Vladimir Putin Seeks Fifth Term As Russia President 2024 Russian Presidential Election Alexei Navalny

Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed on Friday his intention to seek re-election in the 2024 presidential race, marking a bid to extend his lengthy tenure into the 2030s. Putin, who has led Russia since the early 2000s, made the announcement during a Kremlin event attended by army personnel, including those involved in the Ukraine offensive ordered by Putin in February last year, news agency AFP reported.

“I will run for the office of president of the Russian Federation,” declared the 71-year-old leader, responding to Lieutenant Colonel Artyom Zhoga who urged him to run for the presidency.

“I won’t hide it, I’ve had different thoughts at different times, but this is a time when a decision has to be made,” Putin remarked, as quoted by AFP.

Zhoga expressed gratitude for Putin’s decisions, stating, “Thanks to your actions, your decisions, we have gained freedom. We need you, Russia needs you.”

According to AFP’s report, analysts predict that Putin is unlikely to face significant challengers, aiming to secure a substantial mandate to suppress domestic dissent over the Ukraine conflict. Following a controversial constitutional reform in 2020, Putin could potentially remain in power until 2036.

Rights groups express concerns about the electoral process’s transparency, citing past irregularities and media restrictions imposed by Putin. The 2024 election is scheduled over three days from March 15 to 17, a move criticised for complicating transparency efforts, the report mentioned.

Only five major parties, all supporting the Kremlin and the Ukraine war, have been permitted to submit candidates without collecting signatures, as per AFP.

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Putin Rival Navalny Terms Russian Presidential Election As ‘Parody’

Putin’s key opponent, Alexei Navalny, currently serving a 19-year prison sentence on contested charges, urged Russians to vote for “any other candidate” and criticised the elections as a “parody” of electoral procedure, as per the report.

The Kremlin has faced widespread criticism for a crackdown on dissent following its Ukraine offensive, with thousands detained and a mass exodus of citizens fleeing potential conscription. Despite unprecedented sanctions from Western nations, Russia’s economy has proven resilient, and Putin’s domestic approval ratings remain high.

Putin’s decision to run for re-election comes amid a shift in fortunes, with Western support for Ukraine dwindling and Kyiv’s counter-offensive facing challenges, according to analysts cited by AFP.

The Kremlin seems to employ a strategy similar to the 2018 election, framing the vote as a battle against perceived Western values, evident in a November court ruling that labelled the “international LGBT movement” as extremist in a broader culture war narrative.

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