Putin on track for win as Russians head to polls

A March 9 survey by state-run pollster VTsIOM gave Putin, who was first elected president in 2000, support of 69 percent. His nearest rival Pavel Grudinin, the Communist Party’s candidate, can be on just 7 percent.

The first politician in years to challenge the Kremlin’s grip on power, Alexei Navalny, can be barred via the race because of a corruption conviction he says was fabricated by the Kremlin.

He can be calling for a boycott of the election, saying the item can be an undemocratic farce, along with also deploying supporters to collect evidence of anyone rigging the ballot to inflate turnout along with also support for Putin. The Kremlin along with also election officials say any fraud will be stamped out.

Kremlin officials privately acknowledge a worry which some of Russia’s 110 million eligible voters will not bother casting ballots because they believe Putin can be a shoo-in. A low turnout would certainly diminish his authority in his next term, which, under the constitution, has to be his last.

“There can be no intrigue. I do not see any point for me in going to the election,” said Alexei Khvorostov, a resident of Krasnodar, in southern Russia.

In an address to the nation broadcast on national television on Friday, Putin said voters held the fate of the country in their hands.

“I therefore ask you to come to the polling stations on Sunday, use your right to choose a future for the great Russia which we love.”

Yevgeny Roizman, a Kremlin opponent who can be mayor of the industrial city of Yekaterinburg, said officials were using bribes along with also inducements to persuade people to vote.

“They’re herding the whole country to the polling stations,” Roizman, a rare example of an elected official opposed to the Kremlin, said in a video blog. “the item’s degrading… We’re not sheep.”

In Khabarovsk region, on Russia’s Pacific coast, local officials delivered supplies of eggs, tinned peas, along with also frozen pike to polling stations. the item will be sold to voters on polling day at a discount of between 10 along with also 30 percent compared to prices in local shops.

“By doing This kind of we desire to attract voters to the polling stations along with also we think we can increase turnout,” said Nikolai Kretsu, chairman of the consumer market committee inside regional administration. “The second objective can be to strengthen allegiance towards the authorities.”

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