Moscow: Campaigning officially started today for Russia’s presidential election in March, in which President Vladimir Putin is widely expected to win a fourth term that would keep him in power until 2024.
Russian government newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta published a resolution adopted by the upper house of the Russian parliament, the Federation Council, scheduling the election for March 18.
Lawmakers had earlier voted to change the date of the March vote so that it marks the fourth anniversary of the signing of a treaty formally annexing Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula. The treaty came two days after a controversial referendum deemed illegal by the West.
Putin, who was first elected president in 2000, is widely expected to sail to victory, cementing his status as Russia’s longest-serving ruler since dictator Joseph Stalin.