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Putin eyes fourth term in polls as opposition cries foul

20 Marcha 2018, 08:07 | Martinez Canez

Russia's Putin cruises to landslide election win

Putin eyes fourth term in polls as opposition cries foul

Putin is constitutionally required to step down in 2024, but he could change the rules to eliminate term limits, or anoint a malleable successor and continue to run things behind the scenes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin secured a fourth term wining 76.6 percent of the votes at Sunday's presidential election that everyone expected him to win.

Most people who spoke to AFP said they voted for Putin, praising him for lifting the country out of the post-Soviet quagmire. The closest that any rival candidates could come was just the 12 percent garnered by millionaire communist Pavel Grudinin, with the rest of the candidates not even breaking double digits. Russians are convinced the best man to tackle the feeling of their country being besieged is Mr Putin, who is rebuilding its arsenal.

Russians were voting Sunday in a presidential election set to hand Vladimir Putin a record fourth term, with officials reporting strong turnout but the opposition crying foul.

"We do not recognise these elections", he said, claiming turnout was being rigged.

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister, meanwhile, has encouraged the E.U.to dedicate its focus on containing Trump's erratic behavior instead of giving into his tough talk on Iran.

Conveying his compliments to Putin on Monday, the PM expressed the hope that under his leadership, the "special and privileged strategic partnership" between India and Russian Federation would continue to grow from strength to strength. On the other hand, some Russians were told their jobs or university berths were at risk if they did not show up to vote.

Mr Putin's campaign team said it was an "incredible victory".

"At least we'll have stability - that's already something", said 20-year-old university student Yekaterina Korniltseva in Yekaterinburg, who said she voted for Putin. His "campaigning" gained some momentum in the last couple of weeks, but it remained short on message and profoundly boring, projecting primarily the maxim that there could not possibly be any alternative to the 65-year-old leader.

After his victory, Putin said he wanted to reduce spending on Russia's defenses.

Candidates in Russia's elections. image credits: NY Daily News " I think that in the United States and Britain they've understood they can not influence our elections", said Senator Igor Morozov on state television. The officers raided headquarters of opposition figure Alexei Navalny, who was banned from the election, and they tried to seize documents that would give observers access to polling locations. In fact, the outcomes of the elections were seen as a reaffirmation of a moral victory against the West, even when at the beginning of Trump's period he was willing to improve relations with Russian Federation. Western countries are likely to see more Russia-linked hacking and propaganda aimed at disrupting elections or otherwise discrediting democracy - including the United States midterm elections in November.

The longer-term question is whether Putin will now soften his anti-Western rhetoric. The global community also has criticized Russian Federation for its support of Syrian President Bashar al Assad, most recently for continuing violence near the Syrian capital Damascus.

Putin's bellicose language reached a crescendo before the election in a state-of-the-nation speech when he unveiled new nuclear weapons, saying they could hit nearly any point in the world and evade a US -built missile shield.



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