has scored a landslide #re_election #victory
for the fourth time.
President Vladimir #Putin
has scored a landslide re-election victory for the fourth time with 73.9 percent of votes, according to an exit poll by state-owned pollster, VTsIOM.
This reflects the current President's soaring popularity among Russian voters, who showed up in significant numbers to cast their ballots.According to the exit poll from 1,200 polling stations around Russia.
VTsIOM also said in a statement that over 37 percent of those polled refused to say who they voted for.
Although Putin's victory is highly likely, the battle for second place remains a subject of speculation, with veteran politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky going neck and neck with Pavel Grudinin, a newcomer to the world of high Russian politics who was advanced by the Russian Communist Party (KPRF). It seems that the KPRF's decision to present a fresh face has paid off, as exit polls compiled by the Public Opinion Foundation note that Grudinin is expected to secure about 12 percent, while Zhirinovsky may gain half that amount.
Putin's new election win will extend his total time in office to nearly a quarter of a century, until 2024. He won election on the promise to use his new term to beef up Russia's defense capability against the West and to raise living standards.
According to Reuters, Putin’s loyalists argued that the election result was a vindication of his tough stance towards the West.
Most people who spoke to AFP said they voted for Putin, praising him for restoring stability and national pride after the humiliating collapse of the USSR.
Russia's presidential polls opened at 8 a.m. local time (2000 GMT) in the country's far eastern regions on Saturday and will close in the exclave of Kaliningrad at 2 p.m. (1800 GMT) on Sunday.
There were almost 109 million eligible voters inside Russia, with 94,500 polling stations across the country. An additional 1.8 million voters were abroad, and 369 polling stations were based overseas.
Official pollsters had predicted a turnout of around 65 percent in the ongoing presidential election.