Putin Formally Announces 2024 Election Bid
As was long anticipated, Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a formal announcement saying he’s seeking re-election in 2024 – a vote that will be held between March 15 and March 17, 2024. The winner will be inaugurated in early May. Assuming a Putin victory, it would be his fifth term as head of state, and this would put him in office until 2030, after already approaching nearly a quarter-century in power.
Interestingly, the Kremlin cast Putin’s declaration as part of “spontaneous” remarks which followed an award ceremony honoring war veterans…
🇷🇺 Putin responding to a Russian serviceman’s question about running in the election:
“I won’t hide the fact that I’ve had thoughts at different times. But right now, you are right. These are times when decisions must be made. I will run for the office of president.” pic.twitter.com/X0xkFD9Yp1
— Sputnik (@SputnikInt) December 8, 2023
“I won’t hide it from you — I had various thoughts about it over time, but now, you’re right, it’s necessary to make a decision,” Putin said in a video released following the event. “I will run for president of the Russian Federation.”
Russian state media is already previewing that newly annexed territories of the Donbas would vote in the election:
The Russian leader made his remarks at a ceremony where he awarded Hero of Russia medals to servicemen who had taken part in the special military operation against Ukraine. Hero of the Donetsk People’s Republic Artyom Zhoga, who was recently named speaker of the Russian federal subject’s parliament, asked if he would run in 2024 and he replied in the affirmative.
The footage from the ceremony shows Zhoga shaking hands with Putin and telling him that the entire Donbass would like him to participate in the election. “Thanks to your actions… we became free, we got the opportunity to choose… You are our president… We are your team, we need you, Russia needs you,” he said.
The legal path was paved for this expected fifth term when in 2020 the Russian population voted to overwhelmingly approve an overhaul to the national constitution. Assuming he would again win by a landslide, this means that 71-year old Putin could theoretically stay in power until even 2036 if he wanted to go that far (assuming two more back-to-back terms). He would be 83-years old that year.
In power since 2000, those prior changes to the law allow him to run for two more terms in the Kremlin once his current term ends in 2024. The law now in effect basically “resets” his number of terms already served, which considerably stretch all the way back to 2000 (excepting Dmitry Medvedev’s stint as president, 2008-2012).
One early indicator of Putin’s intentions was on display all the way back in 2020, when he told reporters while discussing at that time the proposed constitutional changes, “I do not rule out the possibility of running for office, if this comes up in the Constitution. We’ll see.” He has also said at the time, “I have not decided anything for myself yet,” according to the prior state television interview statements.
Very likely, the Russian population will rally around desiring a ‘strong’ and ‘proven’ leader that can stand up to the West, and to Washington and NATO in particular, again especially given the proxy war nature of what’s happening in Ukraine, and given it remains clear that the Russian side is ‘winning’. But it remains that among some sectors, the war is unpopular given reports of a huge Russian death toll. The numbers of young men coming back either in coffins or severely maimed from war has certainly had an impact among many common Russian families.
It’s been many years since Putin actually had any significant challengers who had major name recognition in Russia (even during Medvedev’s rule, Putin was seen as the ‘real power’ while in the prime minister’s role). The West would chalk this up to the Kremlin oppressing or locking up any political rivals or oppositionists (like Navalny, who never actually polled very high regardless) – while many Russians would see in Putin national unity and strength. Following last summer’s Wagner armed rebellion, his power is consolidated now more than ever.
Fri, 12/08/2023 – 19:20
via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/Wr2Om6q Tyler Durden