Russian President Putin wins presidential elections, secures fourth term

Lloyd Doyle
March 20, 2018

Sunday's landslide election that handed victory to Russian President Vladimir Putin was "overly controlled" and "lacked genuine competition", worldwide election monitors said Monday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin basked in a landslide re-election victory on Monday, extending his rule over the world's largest country for another six years at a time when his ties with the West are on a hostile trajectory.

Putin, who secured a fourth term, thanked his supporters and promised new achievements while addressing a crowd gathered at the Moscow's Manezhnaya Square near the Kremlin on Sunday night.

Russian President Vladimir Putin during a rally near the Kremlin in Moscow.

Putin's arch rival and opposition leader Alexei Navalny was prohibited from the race.

The certain victory of Putin allegedly anxious the officials about a low turnout, which prompted them to compel the voters of coming to the polls, critics claimed.

Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin was in the second place with 11.87 per cent of the vote, followed by the head of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Vladimir Zhirinovsky with 5.73 per cent and Civil Initiative party candidate Ksenia Sobchak with 1.64 per cent, according to the CEC.

For older voters, Moscow health authorities will be offering free cancer screenings at selected polling stations.

Soini did not take a stand on whether some irregularities reported should be taken up with the Russians.

Russians queue to cast their votes at the Russian Embassy in Berlin, Germany.

His lawyer Ivan Zhdanov said the actual national turnout at 1700 GMT, when polls closed in Moscow, was 55 per cent, according to data collected by monitors.

With just over 70 percent of the votes counted, Russia's Central Election Commission announced that Putin had won 75.9 percent of the vote, Reuters reports.

The electoral commission dismissed most concerns, saying there were no serious violations. "I think there will be an alternative one day but many years later".

Spokesman for Putin's campaign Andrei Kondrashov said that at more than 67 percent, turnout was 8 to 10 percentage points higher than expected.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro also commended "the glorious Russian people for its display of civic duty", while Bolivia's Evo Morales said Putin's victory "guarantees geopolitical equilibrium and world peace before the onslaught of imperialism".

"After he brought Crimea back, he became a hero to me".

In Crimea, which was annexed from Ukraine exactly four years ago on Sunday, Putin won more than 92 percent of the vote.

In the run up to the vote, a new crisis broke out with the West as Britain accused Russian Federation of poisoning former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, who were exposed to a Soviet-designed nerve agent on British soil a fortnight ago.

In a tit for tat situation, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that 23 British diplomats have been declared personae non-gratae and will be expelled within a week.

Putin's bellicose language reached a crescendo before the election in a state-of-the-nation speech when he unveiled new nuclear weapons, saying they could hit nearly any point in the world and evade a US-built missile shield.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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