Home World The Czar Returns: Vladimir Putin Wins Historic Fourth Term as Russian President

The Czar Returns: Vladimir Putin Wins Historic Fourth Term as Russian President

Vladimir Putin
Putin’s new fourth term, which expires in 2024, will make him the longest-serving leader of Russia since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.
Vladimir Putin
Putin’s new fourth term, which expires in 2024, will make him the longest-serving leader of Russia since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

New Delhi: Vladimir Putin won a landslide election victory on Sunday thereby extending his presidency by another six years. Putin’s new fourth term, which expires in 2024, will make him the longest-serving leader of Russia since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

Putin faced seven challengers in the election, but his most serious competitor, Alexei Navalny, was barred from running by the government because of his conviction on a corruption charge.

According to reports, turnout was 68 percent, about 3 percent higher than in the 2012 presidential elections. Before voting began, there were reports that Russian authorities were worried about a potential low turnout that could affect its perceived legitimacy.

The Central Election Commission said on Monday that the communist candidate, Pavel Grudinin, came second with 11.8 percent of the vote, and third was the ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky (5.6 percent). The only candidate to openly criticise Putin during the campaign, the liberal TV star Ksenia Sobchak, won 1.6 percent.

Members of his opposition group and other observers – including 1,500 foreigners – monitored the election that included 97,000 polling stations stretched across Russia’s 11 time zones.

After the results were announced President Vladimir Putin addressed rally on Manezhnaya Square in Moscow and thanked his supporters.

“We are a single team, I am a member of this team, and all those who cast their ballots today are members of our large national team. For me, this is an acknowledgement, to say the least, of what we have achieved in recent years despite the challenging conditions. I see this as a sign of trust and hope, the hope of our people that we will work as hard, with the same responsibility and effectiveness as before. Thank you for being such a powerful, millions-strong team. We will definitely succeed,” he said.

Putin was first elected to the Kremlin in 2000, and again four years later. Constitutionally barred from serving more than two consecutive terms, he did not run in 2008, the same year presidential terms were extended from four years to six years. Putin won 63.6 percent of the vote in 2012.

Vladimir Putin

Putin’s domestic policy after his first election was to restore stability, to end what he called the “revolutions” that had brought Russia low. Since then, he has seized every opportunity that history has offered him to secure Russia’s interest.

During his first presidency, the economy grew for eight straight years, and GDP measured in purchasing power increased by 72 percent. The growth was a result of the 2000s commodities boom, high oil prices, and prudent economic and fiscal policies.

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