Russian presidential election, 2018

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Russian presidential election, 2018
Russia
← 2012 18 March 2018 2024 →
Opinion polls
  Empty.png Empty.png
Nominee TBD TBD
Party United Russia Communist Party

  Vladimir Zhirinovsky
Nominee Vladimir Zhirinovsky TBD
Party Liberal Democratic Party A Just Russia
Home state Almaty (now Kazakhstan)

Incumbent President

Vladimir Putin
United Russia



The 2018 Russian presidential election will take place on 18 March 2018.[1]

The first round will be held on Sunday 18 March 2018. If in the first round no candidate attains an absolute majority of the votes (more than half), then according to the law, a second round will take place exactly three weeks later, on 8 April 2018.[2]

The incumbent, President Vladimir Putin, is eligible to seek re-election for a second consecutive term, but has not yet confirmed that he will do this.[3][4] Sources close to the Kremlin claim that Putin will run as an independent in order to capitalise on his widespread support among the Russian population.[5] Putin himself stated on 21 July 2017, that he has still not decided whether he would like to "step down" from the post of President.[6] On 4 August 2017, during a visit to Buryatia, he said he would "think about running".[7] In September 2017, citing sources in the Kremlin, Russian media reported that Putin would announce his candidacy and register as late as possible, and that this would take place in two stages: first, in November 2017 he will announce that he is willing to run, and then by 6 January 2018 (the date when registration of candidates ends) the procedures will be carried out which will enable Putin to run as an independent.[8] On 4 October 2017, responding to a question at Russian Energy Week 2017, Putin said that he “hadn’t yet decided whether to run for another term”.[9]

Background[edit]

The President of Russia is directly elected for a term of six years, since being extended from four years in 2008 during Dmitry Medvedev's administration.[10] As written in Article 81 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, a candidate for president must be at least 35 years old and has to have permanently resided in Russia for the past 10 years, and cannot serve more than two terms consecutively.[11] Parties with representation in the State Duma are able to nominate a candidate to run for the office while candidates from officially registered parties that are not in parliament have to collect at least 100,000 signatures. Independent candidates have to collect at least 300,000 signatures with no more than 7,500 from each federal subject of Russia.[12] Campaigning will officially begin between 7 December and 17 December.[13]

Change of date[edit]

On 3 March 2017, senators Andrey Klishas and Anatoly Shirokov submitted to the State Duma draft amendments to the electoral legislation. One of the amendments involves the transfer of elections from the second to the third Sunday in March, i.e. from 11 to 18 March 2018.[14] The bill passed through the State Duma and Federation Council without delay in May 2017 and was signed into law by Vladimir Putin on 1 June 2017.[15][16] This date is significant as it is the fourth anniversary of Crimea re-joining Russia (outside Russia this is referred to as Russia's annexation of Crimea).

Candidates[edit]

Free access[edit]

Political parties represented in the State Duma and/or the legislative bodies of not less than one-third of the federal subjects can nominate a candidate without collecting signatures. The following parties will be able to nominate candidates without collecting signatures: United Russia, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, A Just Russia, Rodina and Civic Platform.

In July 2017, the chairman of Rodina announced that the only candidate whom the party will support is current president Vladimir Putin.[17] Also in July 2017, the newly re-elected leader of Civic Platform, Rifat Shaykhutdinov, announced that his party would set out its position regarding participation in the presidential election in the forthcoming autumn.[18]

Candidate name,
political party
Political offices Details
Vladimir Zhirinovsky
Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR)
Vladimir Zhirinovsky in 2015.jpg Deputy of the State Duma
(1993–present)
In June 2015, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, said he plans to participate in presidential elections, but in July of the same year, the politician said that the Liberal Democratic Party, perhaps "will pick a more efficient person."[19][20] Already in March 2016, he announced the names of those were likely to be nominated as a candidate from the Liberal Democratic Party. This included Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Igor Lebedev or deputies Mikhail Degtyarev, Yaroslav Nilov and Alexei Didenko.[21] On 28 October 2016, the official website of the Liberal Democratic Party released a statement announcing that the party will nominate Vladimir Zhirinovsky as a presidential candidate.[22][23]

Contested access[edit]

Individuals who belong to a party without any seats in the State Duma have to collect 105,000 signatures to become candidates, while those running as independents must collect 315,000.

Candidate name,
political party
Political offices Signatures Details
Members of political parties
Anton Bakov
Monarchist Party
Anton Bakov.jpg Deputy of the State Duma
(2003–2007)
Signatures collected

0 / 105,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 105,000
On 29 September 2017, Businessman Anton Bakov announced that he will run for president.[24]
Anatoly Batashev
The Greens
Gray - replace this image male.svg Adviser to the Mayor of Balashikha
Signatures collected

0 / 105,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 105,000
Batashev announced his candidacy for Russian Ecological Party "The Greens" on 15 December 2016, and the beginning of his campaign.[25][26]
Andrei Bogdanov
Communist Party of Social Justice
Gray - replace this image male.svg Chairman of the Communist Party of Social Justice
(2014–present)
Signatures collected

0 / 105,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 105,000
On 10 September 2017, Andrei Bogdanov announced that he will run for president.[27]Bogdanov participated in the 2008 presidential election. He gained 1.29% of the vote.
Maxim Suraikin
Communists of Russia
Сурайкин Максим Александрович.JPG Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communists of Russia
(2012–present)
Signatures collected

0 / 105,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 105,000
The Central Committee of the Communists of Russia party announced the nomination of its chairman Maxim Suraikin as its candidate for the election in February 2017. Suraikin stated that he aims to at least come in second place, and defeat Zyuganov's larger Communist Party of the Russian Federation.[28]
Grigory Yavlinsky
Yabloko
Ba-yavlinsky-g-a-1999-june.jpg Deputy of the
Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg

(2011–2016)
Signatures collected

0 / 105,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 105,000
Suggestions that Yavlinsky would run for president in 2018 were first made in 2013,[29] and he was announced as the candidate from the Yabloko party at a convention in February 2016, having been previously the party's candidate for the presidency in 1996 and 2000.[30] In the weeks following the announcement he began campaigning for the election early by travelling to multiple cities across the country.[31]
Self-nomination
Elvira Agurbash Gray - replace this image female.svg None
Signatures collected

0 / 315,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 315,000
Elvira Agurbash, a businesswoman from Moscow Oblast, announced her intention to participate in the election on 5 September 2017.[32]
Andrey Bazhutin Gray - replace this image male.svg None
Signatures collected

0 / 315,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 315,000
Leader of long-distance lorry driver protest movement, chairman of Association of Russian Freight Carriers[33]
Sergey Bizyukin TMNOs42uOgs.jpg None
Signatures collected

0 / 315,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 315,000
Bizyukin, a journalist and historian, announced his candidacy on 14 December 2016.[34]
Ustin Chachikhin Gray - replace this image male.svg None
Signatures collected

0 / 315,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 315,000
The writer Ustin Chachikhin announced his intent to run for president on his social media page in March 2017.[35]
Alex Lesley Gray - replace this image male.svg None
Signatures collected

0 / 315,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 315,000
Writer, public figure; announced his candidacy on 12 June 2017 (a public holiday in Russia)[36][37]
Vyacheslav Maltsev Vyacheslav Maltsev.jpg Deputy of the Saratov Oblast Duma
(1994–2007)
Signatures collected

0 / 315,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 315,000
Maltsev announced his candidacy in February 2017 as an independent, although an analyst noted in an article in Nezavisimaya Gazeta that his announcement to run for president was mostly symbolic.[38] In early July 2017, the Russian media reported that Maltsev had left Russia because a criminal case had been opened against him.[39] Law enforcement officials in Maltsev's native Saratov claimed to not know of any pending criminal case against the opposition politician[40]. It is not known whether Maltsev has left Russia permanently.
Alexei Navalny Алексей Навальный 2.jpg Chairman of the Progress Party[a]
(2012–present)
Signatures collected

0 / 315,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 315,000
Navalny announced his candidacy and the start of his campaign on 13 December 2016.[41] In February 2017, a district court in Kirov upheld his suspended sentence for embezzlement which could prevent him from running.[42] According to his chief of staff, he decided to begin his campaign early to raise support for his candidacy so that the government could not deny him access to the ballot and that Navalny will continue to campaign regardless of the ruling.[43] Throughout the early months of 2017 he traveled to many cities, where he set up campaign offices.[44]
Sergei Polonsky Сергей Полонский.jpg None
Signatures collected

0 / 315,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 315,000
The businessman's lawyer announced Polonsky's intention to run for president on 15 December 2016, during his trial for a fraud case.[45]
Alexandra Selyaninova Gray - replace this image female.svg None
Signatures collected

0 / 315,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 315,000
Alexandra Selyaninova (before transition Alexander Selyaninov) is a transsexual pensioner and former policeman from Perm, who claims to be an illegitimate daughter of Boris Yeltsin. She announced her intention to participate in the election on 22 September 2017.[46]
Valentin Smirnov Gray - replace this image male.svg None
Signatures collected

0 / 315,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 315,000
Factory manager from Stavropol Valentin Smirnov announced that he will run for president on 11 April 2017.[47][48][49]
Vyacheslav Smirnov Gray - replace this image male.svg None
Signatures collected

0 / 315,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 315,000
The businessman's lawyer announced Smirnov's intention to run for president.[50]
Ksenia Sobchak Xenia Sobchak 2010 Moscow.jpg None
Signatures collected

0 / 315,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 315,000
TV anchor, opposition activist and journalist Ksenia Sobchak announced that she would run for president in October 2017.[51] If registered, Sobchak will be the first female candidate in 14 years and the youngest candidate to run since 2004.[52][53]
Alexander Sukhov Gray - replace this image male.svg None
Signatures collected

0 / 315,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 315,000
President of the Russian Charity Fund Alexander Sukhov announced that he will run for president in February 2017.[54]
Stepan Sulakshin Сулакшин Степан Степанович.png Deputy of the State Duma
(1993–1999)
Chairman of the Party of New Type[b]
(2017–present)
Signatures collected

0 / 315,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 315,000
Director of the Center for scientific political thought and ideology Stepan Sulakshin was nominated for the presidency on 17 June 2017.[55][56]
Alina Vitukhnovskaya (ru; uk) Алина Витухновская.jpg None
Signatures collected

0 / 315,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 315,000
A writer and the head of the unregistered "Republican Alternative" civil movement, announced her candidacy in July 2016.[57][58] In the mid-1990s she was falsely charged in a drug dealing case because she refused to cooperate with the Federal Counterintelligence Service (the successor of the KGB).[citation needed]
Irina Volynets Gray - replace this image female.svg None
Signatures collected

0 / 315,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 315,000
Chairwoman of the Central Council of the "National Parent Committee" Irina Volynets announced her intention to participate in the election on 25 September 2017.[59]
Boris Yakemenko Gray - replace this image male.svg None
Signatures collected

0 / 315,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 315,000
One of the founders of Nashi movement, announced his intention to participate in elections on 7 September 2017. Will officially announce the nomination before the election campaign.[60]

Timeline[edit]

Party primaries[edit]

Candidates who also run for president, but participate in the primaries for nomination from their party.

Party of Growth[edit]

On 17 June 2017, the Party of Growth announced that it was looking at four potential candidates, including party leader Boris Titov. At the same time the party did not rule out supporting Vladimir Putin's bid, in the event that he decides to run for office again.[61] The final decision on who, if anyone, will run is to be announced in autumn 2017. In July 2017 the party launched primaries to decide on their candidate[62]. Party leader Boris Titov, however, is not listed among the candidates. Despite this, he may still emerge as the party's candidate because the primaries are not binding.[63]

Potential candidates[edit]

The following individuals are included in some polls or are referred to in the media as possible candidates, but have not yet announced that they will run.

United Russia[edit]

Communist Party[edit]

The Communist Party will announce its candidate on 23 December 2017 at a party congress that will focus on this issue.[74]

A Just Russia[edit]

A Just Russia party will nominate its candidate for the presidential elections at the party congress on 25 December 2017, or will not nominate a candidate at all and support another instead.[80] However, sources close to the party have stated the party clearly intends to nominate its leader Sergey Mironov.[81]

Russian All-People's Union[edit]

On 4 October 2017, the Russian All-People's Union decided to nominate Sergey Baburin as a presidential candidate. Officially, the decision will be made at the December 2017 party congress in the event that Baburin agrees.[87]

Independent candidates[edit]

Campaigning[edit]

Anatoly Batashev's campaign[edit]

The public relations specialist and campaign adviser Anatoly Batashev (ru) declared his intent to run for president on 15 December 2016, as the nominee from the Russian Ecological Party "The Greens".[25][93] A couple of days later he stepped down from his position as adviser to the mayor of Balashikha, a city in the Moscow Oblast, to spend time travelling to different regions of Russia on his campaign. He has taken part in various political campaigns before.[94]

Alexei Navalny's campaign[edit]

Navalny campaign logo

The Russian opposition figure and anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny announced his intention to run for the presidency on 13 December 2016.[95] In early 2017, he traveled to different cities across Russia to open campaign offices and meet with his supporters, despite his involvement in ongoing legal cases that may bar him from running. As noted in an article by Newsweek and by the former Russian presidential administration adviser Gleb Pavlovsky,[96] the American-style campaign by Navalny is unprecedented in modern Russia as most candidates do not start campaigning until a few months before the election. The primary focus of Navalny's campaign is combating corruption within the current government under Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.[44] On March 2, Navalny published a documentary on YouTube titled He Is Not Dimon To You, detailing the corrupt dealings of Prime Minister Medvedev.[97][98] He then called for mass rallies to be held on March 26 to bring attention to this after the government made no response to the documentary, which over 100,000 people were said to have attended across the country.[99][100] The March 26 rally was the largest protest held in Russia since the protests in 2011.[101] Since then Navalny has called for another protest to be held on Russia Day, which is June 12.[102]

On his website, Navalny lists the main principles of his presidential program: combating government corruption, improving infrastructure and living standards in Russia, decentralizing power from Moscow, developing the economy instead of remaining in isolation from the West, and reforming the judicial system.[103] His more specific economic proposals include instituting a minimum wage,[104] lowering prices of apartments and reducing bureaucracy of home construction, making healthcare and education free, lowering taxes for many citizens, taxing the gains from privatization, decentralization of financial management and increase in local governance, increasing transparency in state-owned firms, implementing work visas for Central Asian migrants coming into the country for work, and increasing economic cooperation with western European states.[105]

In April 2017, it was reported that Navalny's campaign staff had collected more than 300,000 signatures from people across 40 regions of Russia electronically.[106] More than 75,000 people signed up to volunteer for his campaign and nearly $700,000 has been donated.[107] However, his eligibility was put into question by his five-year suspended sentence for accused embezzlement of timber from the company Kirovles, back when Navalny had been working as an aide to Governor Nikita Belykh of the Kirov Oblast. The Russian Supreme Court overturned his sentence in November 2016 after the European Court of Human Rights determined that Navalny's rights were violated and sent it back to a district court in the city of Kirov for review.[108] In February 2017, the district court upheld Navalny's suspended sentence.[109] The Constitution of Russia does not allow convicted criminals to run for office, so it is believed his candidacy will be rejected. Navalny promised to appeal the result to the ECHR and said he will continue campaigning,[110] while in early May the deputy head of the Russian Central Election Commission commented that he would not be allowed to run unless the sentence is overturned.[111] In August, the head of the Central Election Commission, Ella Pamfilova, reinforced this sentiment, saying that it would "take a miracle" for Navalny to be granted permission to run.[112]. She cited two scenarios in which Navalny could run - if his conviction is overturned, or in the event that federal election law is urgently changed to allow those with criminal convictions to run. Pamfilova added that the possibility of either scenario unfolding was "extremely low". Panfliova later commented that Navalny could legally run for president by “some time in 2028”, i.e. ten years after his sentence expires.[113] The Memorial Human Rights Center recognized Navalny as a political prisoner.[114]

Grigory Yavlinsky's campaign[edit]

The economist Grigory Yavlinsky announced his presidential bid in February 2017 as the candidate for the liberal party Yabloko, though suggestions that he would run were first voiced in 2013 after he was barred from taking part in the 2012 election.[29] His policies mainly focus on improving the economic situation through government reforms and stopping involvement in conflicts.[115] He was nominated by the party leader, Emilia Slabunova, who stressed the need to unite all "democratic forces" behind one candidate and noted his political experience, and also received an endorsement from opposition politician Vladimir Ryzhkov. Yavlinsky had previously run in the 1996 and 2000 presidential elections, getting 7.4% of the vote in the former.[30] He spoke at a party forum announcing the start of the campaign in February. Among the other proposals he made were to give out several acres of free land to families so they can build home there and develop it, which he said would house 15 million families,[116] and to turn the Russian Armed Forces into an all-professional military, abolishing conscription.[117]

In March 2017, Yavlinsky stated that he will be visiting several major cities in fifteen different regions across the country to raise support. He used Alexei Navalny's recent tour of different cities as an example, refusing to use the traditional model of campaigning a few months before the election. Since he is unable to visit more locations, Slabunova, the leader of Yabloko, and Nikolai Rybakov, his chief of staff, will go to other cities to campaign as well.[31]

Vladimir Zhirinovsky's campaign[edit]

Vladimir Zhirinovsky announced participation in the presidential elections on 28 October 2016 as the candidate for the Liberal Democratic Party. In the event of his election, Zhirinovsky promised to amend the Constitution of Russia and to radically change the polity of the country. In particular, Vladimir Zhirinovsky promised to abolish the Federal structure of Russia and to return to the Governorates, rename the post of "President of Russia" to the "Supreme Ruler of Russia" and to restore the borders of Russia to the borders of the USSR as of 1985.[22]

In March 2017, Zhirinovsky promised to declare a General Amnesty, if elected President.[118]

Opinion polls[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Progress Party is not officially registered so Navalny has to run as an independent candidate.
  2. ^ The Party of New Type is not officially registered so Sulakshin has to run as an independent candidate.

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "Федеральный закон от 10 января 2003 года № 19-ФЗ «О выборах Президента Российской Федерации» (ред. от 19.07.2009) - Центральная избирательная комиссия Российской Федерации". cikrf.ru. Retrieved 24 June 2017. 
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  9. ^ Путин: я не решил, буду ли баллотироваться на новый срок
  10. ^ Stefanov, Mike (22 December 2008). Russian presidential term extended to 6 years. CNN. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
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  12. ^ Medvedev Signs Off on Election, Party Signature Laws. Sputnik News. Published 5 February 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
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  18. ^ ""Гражданская платформа" переизбрала Шайхутдинова главой партии на пять лет". РИА Новости (in Russian). 20170715T1603+0300Z. Retrieved 2017-08-14.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
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  22. ^ a b Владимир Жириновский: я буду защищать русских везде | I will protect Russians everywhere. LDPR official website. Published 28 October 2016. Retrieved 7 May 2017. (in Russian)
  23. ^ Владимир Жириновский снова собрался в президенты | Vladimir Zhirinovsky again going for presidency. Kommersant. Published 28 October 2016. Retrieved 7 May 2017. (in Russian)
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  28. ^ Партия «Коммунисты России» определилась с кандидатом в президенты | Party "Communists of Russia" decide on a candidate for the presidency. Gazeta.ru. Published 1 February 2017. Retrieved 7 May 2017. (in Russian)
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