Voting begins in Russia's show election – Putin continues as president | News Fin

Voting begins today in Russia's three-day presidential election, with President Vladimir Putin emerging as the winner. The election is a political spectacle as Putin has no real opponents and virtually all opposition activity has been crushed in Russia.

There are also no independent foreign observers to monitor the elections. Potential falsification of results is facilitated by increasingly widely used electronic voting.

According to Jussi Lassila, a senior researcher at the Institute for Foreign Policy, Russian leadership is tied to the need for electoral fraud: the logic of authoritarian systems works to always increase the leader's inevitably eroding charisma. An even better election result.

– Of course, this leads to a formal democratic election like this becoming more outrageous all the time, Lassila told STT on Wednesday.

Stalin's achievement was soon in jeopardy

Possible anti-election protests could be seen on Sunday. Opposition politician Alexei Navalny, who died in prison in February, had time to urge citizens to go to the polls in the afternoon to vote for someone other than Putin.

Demonstration elections are also being held in Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine.

Putin, a former KGB intelligence officer, became president in 2000 for the first time since Boris Yeltsin. In 2004, he handed over a four-year term to Dmitry Medvedev, who served as prime minister. But, in practice, power was still in Putin's hands at that time.

Under Putin, who has been president since 2008, the law has been changed to allow the now 71-year-old Putin to remain president until 2036. At the time, he would have been in power longer than Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

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