Vladimir Putin has won another 6years term as Russia’s president with 76.7%, out of 99.8% of the votes counted according to Central Election Commission data.
The presidential election which took place on Sunday saw Putin sail through without serious opposition during his campaign. His nearest rival, Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin, won 11.79%,while ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky took 5.7%.
Former reality TV presenter Ksenia Sobchak was on 1.7%, while veteran liberal politician Grigory Yavlinsky received just over 1% of the vote.
The 65-year-old is the country’s longest-serving leader since Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.
After his election victory, putin said, “We are a single team, I am a member of this team, and all those who cast their ballots today are members of our large national team,”
“I see this as a sign of trust and hope, the hope of our people that we will work as hard, with the same responsibility and effectiveness as before. Thank you for being such a powerful, millions-strong team. We will definitely succeed.”
The American intelligence community unanimously believes that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to sway its result towards Trump, but the president has both angrily dismissed those assertions and shied away from seriously punishing Russia for its meddling. Trump has not yet weighed in on Sunday’s election.
The Associated Press report that, there were widespread reports of ballot-box stuffing and forced voting on Sunday, and Putin was trying to win by a large margin to ensure his mandate to govern is indisputable. His most visible opponent — anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny — wasn’t even on the ballot. He was barred from running because he was convicted of fraud in a case that was widely considered to be politically motivated.
Russia’s Central Election Commission recognized there were some irregularities, but not enough to make the overall results illegitimate. Putin loyalists said the result was a vindication of his tough stance towards the West.
Igor Morozov, a member of the upper house of parliament,” said on state television. “Our citizens understand what sort of situation Russian finds itself in today.”
“I think that in the United States and Britain they’ve understood they cannot influence our elections,”Igor said.
Putin said, after casting his ballot in Moscow on Sunday “I am sure I am offering the right program to the country.”
He sought a level of turnout that “gives me the right to perform the duty of president,”
Alexander G, a 23-year-old model, said he abstained from voting.
“For now it’s just one Putin, and other candidates are a circus — we don’t really have an option,”
Another, 21-year-old modeling agent Max V, also chose not to vote, saying there weren’t enough candidates to choose from.