Surprise, surprise!

Published on 19 March 2024 at 10:57

A game that was over before it began. The Russian presidential elections were held from March 15 to 17. Unsurprisingly, incumbent President Vladimir Putin emerged victorious for a fifth term, with over 87 percent of the vote. It was a predictable victory for the lord of the Kremlin, who could count on a virtually non-existent opposition, as well as an intense propaganda campaign, and increased voter surveillance.

The turnout (over 74 percent) marks a real increase on the 2018 election, which attracted 67.5 percent. Putin only emerges stronger from a campaign whose aim was not so much to win - everyone expected that - but to test public opinion, and show off his democratic credentials internally. The fact remains that the vote was peppered with demonstrations by the opposition. In particular, the opposition called for voting on Sunday at midday in protest against the regime, while many polling stations across the country were also vandalised.

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