Russia elections: Polls open amid low turnout fears


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Moscow – Russians are heading to the polls to vote in a presidential election that is expected to usher in President Vladimir Putin’s fourth term.

Seven other candidates are additionally working in Sunday’s election, with the incumbent main within the polls by a large margin.

On account of the time difference, vote casting started within the Russian Far East areas of Chukotka and Kamchatka on Saturday at 20:00 GMT and could well discontinue right this moment in Kaliningrad at 18:00 GMT.

Outcomes are expected to trickle in by the discontinue of the day and a stage where Putin is expected to ship his victory tackle has already been region up in Moscow’s city centre, near the Kremlin.

Discontinuance to 109 million registered voters could well hold the last discover to forged their ballotin near 100,000 vote casting stations across the 85 areas and republics of the Russian Federation; Russian citizens will additionally be ready to forged their ballots in 145 worldwide locations.

There shall be polling stations on 38 unsuitable-country trains, to boot to hospitals and militia bases. In areas hard to accumulate entry to within the Russian North, helicopters hold been faded to bolt polling stations and team.

There will additionally be a digital vote casting dwelling in dwelling for Russian astronaut, Anton Shkaplerov, recent crew commander at the World Apartment Quandary, to forged his vote.


Residents of Crimea will vote for the first time in Russian presidential elections; the vote itself modified into scheduled to coincide with the fourth anniversary of the annexation of the peninsula.

Crimea featured prominently in Putin’s election campaign and it modified into where he held his closing rally on Wednesday.

On Saturday, the ‘day of silence’, when election campaigning is banned by laws, the Central Electoral Commission allowed Russia’s teach-owned First Channel to broadcast a feature movie called « Crimea », which offers a pro-Russian salvage on the events of 2014 in Ukraine.

Requires boycott

Opposition chief Alexey Navalny, who modified into barred from working within the elections over a fraud conviction in a court case he claims modified into politically motivated, has called for a boycott of the vote, as hold other political groups.

Commentators hold additionally properly-known that the shortcoming of stiff competitors amongst candidates could well additionally discourage voters from heading to the polls. 

In response, the Russian authorities hold attach barely just a few effort into rallying up citizens to the polling stations, fearing a low turnout.

Dmitry Peskov, press secretary of the Russian presidency, insisted earlier this week that the measures taken to help folk to vote are at some level of the bounds of the laws.

Rather than CEC’s campaign, Russian media has reported that local administrations across the country are organising local referendums, concert events, educated trainings, etc at polling stations to attract voters.

There hold additionally been reports of teach employees being pressured to vote.

« Now we hold by no methodology seen sooner than an information campaign to enhance turnout on this form of scale, » Stanislav Andreychuk, a representative of impartial Russian election computer screen Golos, advised Al Jazeera.

Here is the first vote that kids hold additionally been faded in campaigning, with colleges conserving referendums or parent conferences on election day or making students pick in election-linked activities to advertise the vote, he mentioned.

Raffles hold additionally turn out to be typical for the length of this election season.

« In a plan, that is a invent of bribing the voter, » Andreychuk mentioned. « This changes the premise of elections from being a civil act to being a possibility to preserve close from a lottery. »

Russian news outlet RBC reported on Friday that the Kremlin has indicated that a turnout of 65 p.c could well be belief to be « unbiased appropriate ». For the length of the 2012 presidential elections, 65.3 p.c of voters grew to turn out to be as much as the polls.

Golos, which modified into made to register as a foreign agent for receiving funding from in yet another country after the 2012 vote, could well hold observers across the country to computer screen the elections.

Navalny’s campaign has additionally dispatched observers, as has the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.


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