It will be almost impossible for any serious opponent to defeat Putin, who has been in power for 24 years.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Russia’s National Election Commission has registered the first two candidates who will compete against President Vladimir Putin in March’s election – with Putin almost certain to win by one vote.
The commission cleared Leonid Slutsky of the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party and Vladislav Davankov of the New People for the elections, which will be held between 15–17 March.
Neither candidate poses a significant challenge to Putin, who has dominated Russian politics since becoming president in 2000. Both of his parliamentary parties have been largely supportive of the legislation, backed by Putin’s power-base party, United Russia.
Slutsky, as head of the lower house of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, has been a prominent supporter of Kremlin foreign policy. In the last presidential election in 2018, his party’s candidate received less than 6% of the votes.
Meanwhile, Davankov is the deputy speaker in the Duma, the lower house of parliament. His party was founded in 2020 and has 15 seats in the 450-member House.
The Communist Party has nominated Nikolai Kharitonov as its candidate, but the election commission has not formally registered him. Kharitonov was the party’s candidate in 2004 – finishing second to Putin.
Meanwhile, a politician who called for peace in Ukraine was rejected by the commission last month. Yekaterina Duntsova’s initial nomination by a group of supporters was rejected on the grounds that her paperwork contained errors, including spelling mistakes, and the Supreme Court ultimately rejected Duntsova’s appeal against the decision.
Putin himself is contesting the elections as an independent. Under Russian law, independent candidates must be nominated by at least 500 supporters, and must also gather at least 300,000 signatures from 40 or more regions.