Russia election: Vladimir Putin wins by big margin


Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) delivers a speech during a ceremony to present national award and to mark the Defender of the Fatherland Day at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 23, 2018Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Mr Putin has been either president or prime minister for almost 20 years

Vladimir Putin will lead Russia for another six years, after securing an expected victory in the presidential election.

A Russian state exit poll gave him 73.9% of the vote, easily defeating his closest competitor.

The main opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, was barred from the race.

The scale of victory – which had been widely predicted – was a marked increase in his share of the vote from 2012, when he won 64%.

A state exit poll put the turnout at 63.7%, down on 2012. Mr Putin’s campaign had hoped for a large turnout, to give him the strongest possible mandate.

Video recordings from polling stations showed irregularities in a number of towns and cities across Russia. Several videos showed election officials stuffing boxes with ballot papers.

Early results showed that with just 21.3% of boxes counted, Mr Putin had almost 72% of the votes.

Exit polls, published as soon as voting ended, showed that Mr Putin’s closest opponent, Pavel Grudinin, was only projected to win 11.2%.

Mr Navalny was excluded from the election because of an embezzlement conviction that he said was manufactured by the Kremlin.

During polling day, independent election monitoring group Golos reported hundreds of irregularities, including:

  • Voting papers found in some ballot boxes before polls opened
  • Observers were barred from entering some polling stations
  • Some people were bussed in amid suspicion of forced voting
  • Webcams at polling stations were obstructed by balloons and other obstacles

Videos taken from the election commission’s live stream of polling stations also appeared to show some instances of officials stuffing ballots into boxes.

In Dagestan, one election official said he was prevented from doing his job by a crowd of men who blocked the ballot box.

But the Central Electoral Commission chief, Ella Pamfilova, said there no serious violations registered, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency.

She had earlier said that anyone involved in violations would be caught.



Source link

Leave a Reply