Russia elects its president - REPORTAGE

Russia elects its president - REPORTAGE
# 15 March 2024 15:53 (UTC +04:00)

Our northern neighbor Russia is holding presidential elections. In the elections to be held in three days until March 17, four candidates: Vladimir Putin, who is not representing any political party, Leonid Slutsky, nominee of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), State Duma Deputy Speaker Vladislav Davankov, nominee of the New People party and Nikolay Kharitonov, nominee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) are competing in the presidential race.

We present APA’s Moscow correspondent Farid Akbarov’s report on the features of the presidential elections held in Russia this time, its newly implemented rules, and the voting process in the election in general.

Russians are electing a president for the eighth time

On May 7, 2024, the term of office of the incumbent President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, ends. He last started his term of office as the leader of state on May 7, 2018. Starting today the Russians are re-electing the head of the country.

Voting in the 8th presidential elections of the Russian Federation has started. According to the Russian Central Election Commission, more than 94,000 polling stations have been opened and 113,574,550 ballots have been prepared. Representatives from 106 countries have been accredited as international observers to monitor the elections, at the same time, about 1,500 journalists have received accreditation from the CEC information center, and 12,645 journalists received accreditation to cover the process at polling stations.

Innovation in presidential elections: 3-day and remote online voting

The features of this time's presidential election are that for the first time in the history of Russian electoral legislation, the presidential elections of the Russian Federation are held in 3 consecutive days and with the use of a remote online voting mechanism. Russian CEC stated that this was done to create additional opportunities for the Russians to exercise their voting rights. Russians with voting rights are participating in the voting without a paper ballot using the software on the portal and the Moscow residents on the portal.

Among the other innovations that will be implemented during the presidential elections in Russia are the holding of voting in Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions of Ukraine, which were declared annexed to Russia and where martial law is applied, in coordination with the Ministry of Defense and the Federal Security Service, as well as the election commissions for media representatives working only in newsrooms under employment contracts. to be accredited for meetings, to allow photo and video recording in polling stations only of persons who have the right to permission by law.

Advantages of 3-day and remote electronic voting

As a result of our survey among Moscow residents, it became known that voters will participate in the elections using both distance and traditional voting methods.

"I think that the three-day voting is very convenient. I think this system is already in place. Anyone can vote when, where, and how they want. This system works. I went and cast my vote on the first day of the election," said Yekaterina Abramtsova, a resident of Moscow.

Another resident of the capital, Lyudmila Batrukhina, said that three-day voting is more convenient for the voter since it is already spring, someone lives outside the city, so people participate in the elections without interrupting their vacation.

Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation revealed that 4,1 million voters applied to participate in remote online voting from 28 regions of the country. It was reported that only the residents of Arkhangelsk, Belgorod, Vladimir, Voronezh, Kaliningrad, Kaluga, Kursk, Lipetsk, Moscow, Murmansk, Nizhny Novgorod, Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Pskov, Rostov, Sverdlovsk, Tomsk, Chelyabinsk, Yaroslavl, Altai, Kamchatka, Perm regions, Karelia, Crimea, Chuvashia, Sevastopol and Nenets Autonomous Republic can participate in remote online voting.

From February 25, early voting was organized for people living in special conditions in Russia, who could not go to the precinct election commission, as well as Russians who live in foreign countries. Almost 2 million people have already voted early in 39 subjects of the country.

Presidential elections against the background of the West-Russia conflict.

Recall that presidential elections in Russia are held against the background of the Ukraine war and the West-Russia conflict. For that reason, in areas where the voting stations are located, and in general in the country, the order is strengthened by the police and Rosguard.

Western countries claim that election campaigns and elections in Russia are not organized under democratic principles. Official Moscow announced that it has collected evidence regarding the Western collective intending to support the opposition outside the system in the country on the eve of the election and planning to use obstacle mechanisms. Even though Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov invited the ambassadors of the European Union countries to turn away, western diplomats rejected the invitation and declared that they wouldn’t come to the meeting.

Russian Political scientist, and director of the Institute of Political Studies, Sergey Markov believes that the interference of the West in the presidential elections in Russia is obvious: "However, the form of interference in this election has changed significantly. So, earlier, the West interfered in the internal affairs of Russia, interfering in the elections by assisting the candidate it supported. Now, since there is no candidate in the list of candidates that the West will support, the West has changed its intervention strategy. The West will now do everything in its power not to recognize the results of the presidential elections in Russia. The West will try so that the results of the presidential elections are not considered legitimate. The West will see Putin as the illegitimate president of Russia and will call on the countries of the world to treat Putin in this way. It is expected that ballots will be thrown into ballot boxes using Western intelligence agencies, as well as cyber-attacks on electronic voting systems will be organized."

Russia’s Central Election Commission announced that the preliminary results of the elections will be started to be announced on March 17 at 21:00 by Moscow time, and the preliminary results will be announced on March 18.

Notable delegation of Azerbaijani Milli Mejlis deputies visited Moscow to observe the presidential elections in Russia. It has been announced that Azerbaijani observers will observe the voting process in several polling stations in the Russian capital on March 17.