Russia: President Putin to run as an “independent” in March 2024 polls
New Delhi: Announcing that he will seek yet another six-year term in March 2024, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he will “contest the elections” as an “independent” candidate.
For Putin, 71, the so-called election is a formality. With the support of the state, the state-run media, and almost no mainstream public dissent, he is certain to win.
His close ally, Chinese President Xi Jinping, also secured an unprecedented third term of four years in 2022.
The longest-ruling world leader at present, Putin has been in power as the Prime Minister and then as President for more than two decades.
Although he has complete support in the ruling United Russia (UR) party, he will run as an independent candidate, state-backed RIA news agency quoted two senior Kremlin lawmakers as saying, the media reported on Saturday.
Sergei Mironov, a senior politician from the Just Russia Party, who supports Putin, said the President would run as an independent and that signatures would be gathered in his support.
Supporters of Putin say he has restored order, national pride, and some of the clout Russia lost during the chaos of the Soviet collapse in 1991, and that his war in Ukraine, which Putin calls a “special military operation,” is justified.
A years-long crackdown on opponents and critics bolstered by sweeping new laws on “fake news” and “discrediting the army” has seen critics and opponents of the war handed long jail terms or flee abroad as the room for dissent has steadily shrunk.