Why does Putin bother celebrating them? – DW – 03/15/2024

Why does Putin bother celebrating them?  – DW – 03/15/2024

Critics often say so Russia It's a dictatorship. However, from March 15 to 17, the country will celebrate Presidential election. But the outcome of those elections had been expected for a long time: Russian President Vladimir PutinHe, who has been leading the country for 25 years, will win a fifth term, meaning he will remain in the Kremlin until at least 2030.

The only clearly opposition figure, liberal politician Boris Nadezhdin, has been disqualified by Russian courts, including the Supreme Court, a decision that has been appealed.

Other candidates include Nikolai Garitonov, 75, who represents the local Communist Party. This party's candidate usually comes in second place, although he is far behind Putin. Garitonov has criticized some of Putin's domestic policies, but supports the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Another candidate is Vladislav Davankov. At 40 years old, he is one of the youngest candidates and has presented himself as more liberal when it comes to restricting individual freedoms in Russia. But he stressed that he would not criticize his political opponents.

According to Reuters, Garitonov and Davankov could each receive between 4% and 5% of the total votes.

More than 112 million Russians are called to the polls during these elections.Photo: Kirill Kokhmar / TASS / Photo Alliance

United front

But while all Russia watchers say Putin is poised to win, the Russian presidential election actually has a purpose. The project aims to address the internal and external challenges facing Putin's regime, says Konstantin Kalachev, a political analyst and former Kremlin advisor.

He says that elections within the country allow the president's authority to be legitimized and prove that the Russian people are united around their leader.

“Externally, this helps prove that Putin is following a policy [exterior] “It shows that the president and the Russian majority are united and dispels any illusions,” Kalachev told DW. [de lo contrario] In the west.”

In a country where everyone takes the result for granted, it can be difficult to convince people to go vote. Meduza, an independent news website based in Latvia, wrote earlier this month that Russian authorities were taking steps to ensure the presidential election appeared as legitimate as possible.

The goal is 80% electoral participation. Meduza stated that this is done “by mobilizing voters who depend on the government: public sector employees, government companies and large corporations, loyal to the government, as well as their relatives and friends.”

The newspaper claims that members of Putin's party, United Russia, are encouraged to bring at least 10 people with them to polling stations, citing close contacts with the political party.

Government and party officials can know exactly who is going to the polls thanks to electronic voting or digital codes that identify voters.

Visual division

Although the only anti-Putin candidate, Nadezhdin, has been excluded from participating, it is possible that there will be some kind of protest vote.

Most of the Russian opposition forces fled the country, but they called on their supporters to take action during the elections.

The widow of the recently deceased Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, called on her supporters to go in large numbers to the polls at noon on Sunday, March 17, in honor of her late husband.

“You can spoil the ballot, you can write Navalny in big letters on it,” he said. Yulia NavalnayaIn a YouTube video. “And even if you don't see the point of voting at all, you can just come and stand at the polling station and then turn around and go home,” he suggested, adding that people should vote “for anyone but Putin.”

(Origin/Communist Party)

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