In a significant political move, Russian lawmakers have established the date for the country's 2024 presidential election to be March 17, opening the path for President Vladimir Putin to potentially secure a fifth term in office. This decision aligns with Russia's electoral guidelines, and the preparations for the election process are expected to commence shortly.
Putin's Road to a Fifth Term
Under the provisions of recent constitutional reforms, Putin is entitled to pursue two additional six-year terms after his current term concludes in the forthcoming year. His firm command over Russia’s political landscape implies that his victory is almost certain. Notably, his approval ratings remain high, despite the burdensome military campaign in Ukraine and the unsuccessful rebellion spearheaded last summer by mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin. This election paves the way for Putin to potentially remain in power until at least 2030.
The Role of Alexei Nechaev
Russian businessman Alexei Nechaev is slated to play a pivotal role in the upcoming elections as President Putin’s “liberal” adversary, tasked with drawing liberal voters to the polls. Reports suggest that the New People party has already initiated work on Nechaev’s campaign, with an expected official announcement of his candidacy at the party's December convention.
Political Turmoil Amidst Election Preparations
Amidst these developments, members of the political team of former President Dmitry Medvedev are facing extended jail terms, a move reported as being connected to Putin's upcoming run for office. This action is perceived as part of a broader crackdown on dissent in anticipation of Putin's potential announcement to seek a fifth presidential term next year. The Russian Federation Council is scheduled to convene a plenary meeting on December 7 to officially designate March 17, 2024, as the date for the presidential election, in line with Russian election law.