Vladimir Putin to run for presidency in 2024

Vladimir Putin has said he will run for president in the March 2024 election, moving the longtime Russian leader a step closer to a fifth term in office.

Putin has dominated Russia’s political system and the media for the past two decades, jailing prominent opposition politicians, such as Alexei Navalny and Ilya Yashin, who could challenge him on the ballot.

Putin has won previous elections by a landslide, but independent election watchdogs say they were marred by widespread fraud.

In a previous interview, his spokesman assured the media that Putin would be re elected in the next election

“Putin will be re-elected next year with more than 90% of the vote,” he said.

According to the constitution of Russia, Putin is eligible to seek two more six-year terms after his term expires next year, potentially allowing him to remain in power until 2036.

If he remains in power until then, his tenure will surpass even that of Joseph Stalin, who ruled the Soviet Union for 29 years, making Putin the longest-serving Moscow leader since the Russian empire.

The presidential election is the first since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, with voting also taking place in what Russia calls its new territories – parts of Ukraine now controlled by Russian forces.

Putin announced his decision to run after awarding soldiers who had fought in Ukraine with Russia’s highest military honor.

“Times are such that I need to make a decision. I will run for office,” Putin said at the Kremlin after he was asked by a military officer about his position on the election.

The former lawmaker Boris Nadezhdin, who holds a seat on a municipal council in the Moscow region, and Yekaterina Duntsova, a journalist and lawyer from the Tver region north of Moscow, who once was a member of a local legislature have also announced their desire to the candidature..

Speaking from prison this week, Navalny urged Russians to vote for anyone but not Vladimir Putin.

“For Putin, the 2024 elections are a referendum to approve his actions, to approve the war,” Navalny said in an online statement posted by his supporters. “Let’s disrupt his plans and make it happen so that no one on March 17 is interested in the rigged result, but that all of Russia saw and understood: the will of the majority is that Putin must leave.”

In a daring political statement, allies of Navalny in the Anti-Corruption Foundation on Thursday placed anti-Putin billboards disguised as New Year’s greetings across several major cities that said “Russia” and “Happy new year”. But a large QR code on the signs led to a website titled “Russia without Putin”.

The election will be held on 17 March and the winner will be inaugurated in May.

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