Nationalist candidate withdraws from Russian presidential race, endorses Putin

Nationalist candidate withdraws from Russian presidential race, endorses Putin
# 30 January 2024 16:25 (UTC +04:00)

Sergei Baburin, a Russian nationalist politician who had announced his candidacy in presidential elections scheduled for March 15-17, said on Tuesday that he was pulling out of the race and endorsing the incumbent, Vladimir Putin, APA reports citing Reuters.

Baburin, leader of the Russian All-People's Union party, announced his change of heart shortly after submitting documents and signatures to the central electoral commission in support of his bid.

In video published by online news outlet SOTA, Baburin said it would be wrong to undermine national unity "at a difficult hour for the motherland", referring to the war in Ukraine.

He called on all patriotic Russians to unite around Putin, whose victory in the election is assumed as a foregone conclusion by supporters and opponents alike.

Baburin is a longtime, if marginal, fixture of Russian nationalist politics, having served as a lawmaker until 2007 and taken part in armed opposition to President Boris Yeltsin during civil unrest in 1993.

At Russia's last presidential elections in 2018, he came last out of eight candidates, taking 0.65% of the vote.

Russia's electoral commission has so far registered four candidates, including Putin, for the polls. Several more, including anti-war candidate Boris Nadezhdin, are due to submit documents by Wednesday.

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