15 People Will Attempt to Challenge Putin in the Presidential Election

Written by Henrik Rothen

Dec.21 - 2023 8:36 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
15 People Will Attempt to Challenge Putin in the Presidential Election.

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Moscow officials have announced that 16 candidates have filed to run for Russia's presidency in the upcoming election.

This election, scheduled for next year, is anticipated to secure a fifth term for Vladimir Putin. Ella Pamfilova, the chairwoman of the Central Election Commission (CEC), confirmed the number of applicants, as reported by the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.

According to Moscow Times, the Kremlin has been known for marginalizing opposition figures from elections and political life, a trend that intensified following the Russian military action in Ukraine in 2022. Putin himself confirmed his candidacy earlier this month during a meeting with military veterans.

The election is set to be held over three days, beginning March 15, and will include voting in four Ukrainian regions partially occupied by Russian forces and in Crimea, annexed from Kyiv in 2014.

The Kremlin-friendly Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) of Russia nominated Leonid Slutsky, a former negotiator for the Ukraine conflict, as a candidate. Slutsky stated that his candidacy would not detract votes from Putin. Candidates have until December 27 to file applications for the March vote and will subsequently need to gather thousands of signatures from supporters to secure a place on the ballot.

Among the notable developments, Igor Girkin, a hardline nationalist turned Kremlin critic currently detained on extremism charges, expressed his desire to challenge Putin. Meanwhile, jailed opposition figure Alexei Navalny, barred from running in the 2018 elections due to a fraud charge his allies claim is politically motivated, remains a significant absentee from the political scene.

This election cycle highlights the complex dynamics of Russian politics, where the Kremlin's control over the political landscape and the marginalization of opposition voices continue to shape the electoral process.