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Vladimir Putin announces plan to run for re-election in 2018

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Vladimir Putin announces plan to run for re-election in 2018

Post  Admin on Sat 09 Dec 2017, 10:51 pm

Vladimir Putin announces plan to run for re-election in 2018
December 7, 2017
Vladimir Putin announces plan to run for re-election in 2018
ID1974 / Shutterstock.com
In a not-so-surprising announcement on Wednesday, Russian leader Vladimir Putin confirmed that he will run for president again in 2018. Putin made his announcement at the GAZ car factory in Nizhni Novgorod.

Built during former Russian leader Josef Stalin’s push for industry in the 1930s, the factory is a symbol of Russian production. Putin told a crowd of blue-collar workers that there was “no better place” for him make his announcement.

“Thank you for your work, for your attitude to your jobs, your factory, your city, and your country!” Putin told the crowd. “I’m sure that together we will succeed.”

A Russian Strongman
Since succeeding Boris Yeltsin as president of the Russian Federation in 2000, Putin has restored Russia’s position on the global stage while drawing criticism for his autocratic leadership.

Putin served two presidential terms from 2000-2008 before becoming prime minister because of term limits.

He reclaimed the presidency in 2012 again after Dmitry Medvedev stepped aside to let Putin rule. Medvedev extended presidential term limits to six years, meaning that, if he wins in March, Putin would lead until 2024.

Not-So-Strong Opposition
Potential challengers to Putin include TV host Ksenia Sobchak, 36, who is the daughter of former St. Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak, and several candidates who lost in past elections, including Communist chief Gennady Zyuganov, ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, and liberal leader Grigory Yavlinsky.

“I don’t trust a system where Putin makes all decisions,” said Ksenia Sobchak, who also stopped at Nizhni Novgorod on Wednesday to meet with voters. “Let’s believe in our ability to change the situation.”

Sobchak is not the only politician critical of Putin. Another would-be candidate, Alexi Navalny, has positioned himself as the major opposition leader to Putin.

Navalny has been barred from running altogether, and spent 20 days in jail in October for staging a rally. His campaign chief was sentenced to a month in jail last week for staging another rally in Nihzni Novgorod. Navalny tweeted:

The best illustration of how elections work in Russia is my campaign chief Leonid Volkov sitting in jail just one kilometer [less than a mile] from the venue where Putin declared his bid.

Still, none of his contenders are expected to be a serious challenge to the incumbent, who enjoys consistently high ratings.

The People’s Favorite
Putin is expected to win handily. If successful, the 65-year-old would become the longest-serving Russian leader since Stalin.

The Federation leader enjoys approval ratings of greater than 80 percent. Often disparaged in the West, Putin has been described as a dictator and the mastermind behind a conspiracy to make Donald Trump the president of the United States.

In Russia, however, he enjoys consistent popularity. The challenges facing Putin have more to do with mobilizing an apathetic electorate than trouncing his adversaries.


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