| 4 March 2024, Monday |

Putin to run as independent candidate for new presidential term – senior politicians

Vladimir Putin will seek the presidency once more as an independent with a sizable following, not on a party ticket, according to Russian news agencies on Saturday, citing his supporters.

According to Russian news agencies, an initiative group comprising more than 700 politicians and prominent figures from the sports and cultural domains convened in Moscow on Saturday and unanimously approved Putin’s nomination as an independent candidate.

Putin, who has been in power as either president or prime minister for more than two decades, has announced he will seek another six-year term in March next year in an election he is comfortably expected to win.

Putin will not run as a candidate for the ruling United Russia (UR) party even though he has its complete support but as an independent candidate, Andrei Turchak, a senior UR party official, was cited as saying by the RIA news agency.

“More than 3.5 million party members and supporters will actively take part in the election campaign,” RIA quoted Turchak as saying, noting that Putin had been one of the founders of United Russia.

Sergei Mironov, a senior politician from the Just Russia party who supports Putin, was also quoted by RIA as saying Putin would run as an independent and that signatures would be gathered in his support.

For Putin, 71, the election is a formality: with the support of the state, the state-run media and almost no mainstream public dissent, he is certain to win.

Supporters of Putin say he has restored order, national pride, and some of the clout Russia lost during the chaos of the Soviet collapse and that his war in Ukraine – something Putin calls a “special military operation” – is justified.

A years-long crackdown on opponents and critics bolstered by sweeping new laws on “fake news” and “discrediting the army” has seen critics and opponents of the war handed long jail terms or flee abroad as the room for dissent has steadily shrunk.

  • Reuters