Putin Wins March 2024 Presidential Election

After three days (March 15 to 17) of voting, Vladimir Putin is leading the Russian presidential election with 87.34% after 98% of ballots were counted.

After three days (March 15 to 17) of voting, Vladimir Putin is leading the Russian presidential election with 87.34% after 98% of ballots were counted, according to data of the Russian Central Elections Commission. Undoubtedly it gives Putin, who has been in power since the last days of 1999, another six-year term (2024-2030) to lead Russia, and to pursue with much vigour its foreign policy ambitions in the international system and push forward the much-trumpeted multipolar configuration with a focus on Global South.

Putin’s assertive control over the political landscape has been solidified due to the relative absence of any active opposition candidates. As a result, the other three candidates scored very weak points. The second is State Duma member from the Communist Party Nikolai Kharitonov with 4.3% of votes. State Duma deputy speaker, member of the New People party Vladislav Davankov is the third with 3.8%. Leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Leonid Slutsky is the fourth with 3.17% of votes.

Putin considered meeting with the three candidates. At that meeting Putin stressed their roles in the parliament and invited them to share their thoughts together in order to achieve common national development goals. “That mean that we need to continue working actively together in the country’s parliament, working together to advance the kinds of ideas that will help us solve the challenges the country is facing,” he told them during the meeting in the Kremlin.

Putin asked for sharing the understanding of certain things, such as the security of the Russian state, foreign policy issues, the importance of achieving sovereignty in defence, technology, monetary policy, and be able to keep this constructive approach in parliament and on the interaction platform in State Duma (House of Representatives) and in Federation Council (the Senate).

Local reports say Kharitonov, Davankov and Slutsky, the competing candidates, highly appreciated the results, that Russians have resoundingly voted Putin for the fifth time. That however, they have all conceded to the preliminary election results. Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) legal services chief Georgy Kamenev said that the party had not seen any significant irregularities or violations during the voting process, and that “there are no questions pointing to the illegitimacy of the election.” 

The significance of this election is that if Putin completes this six-year term, he will have stayed in power longer than any Russian leader since Catherine the Great in the 18th century. In a pre-election address Putin said Russia was going through a “difficult period” and called on the country to be “united and self-confident.”

Putin further reminded Russians of “the inviolability of the principle of holding regular elections which is one of the basic principles of a democratic state. The outcome will directly affect the development of the country in the coming years.”

The primary aspiration related to an election as a step into the future, embark on the next phase of economic development and to defend Russia’s freedom and sovereignty. “Today, it is critically important not to stray from this path, to achieve what we have set out to achieve, and to fulfill our ambitious goals,” emphasized Putin.

“All of us, the multi-ethnic people of Russia, are one big family. We want the standard of living and quality of life to improve. And so it will be. We want it to flourish, to be strong, free, and prosperous,” he the Russian people in a televised speech on March 15.

Moreover, Russian society readily accepted Putin who has been in power for 24 years, since after the first president Boris Yeltsin handed over to him the political power. He began his journey from a modest family to the KGB, and eventually to the presidency in 2000. His ascendancy to power, Russia has transformed into a modern society with appreciable improvements in the economy and other aspects of social life.

Today’s Russia is distinctively different. Russians are great travellers across the world primarily due to significant increase in regular income. Russia has also climbed into international stage, performing wonderfully well and challenging for a new global order. This aims at constructing the Global South, and its allies in this struggle are found in Latin America, Asia and Africa.

Kester Kenn Klomegah
Kester Kenn Klomegah
MD Africa Editor Kester Kenn Klomegah is an independent researcher and writer on African affairs in the EurAsian region and former Soviet republics. He wrote previously for African Press Agency, African Executive and Inter Press Service. Earlier, he had worked for The Moscow Times, a reputable English newspaper. Klomegah taught part-time at the Moscow Institute of Modern Journalism. He studied international journalism and mass communication, and later spent a year at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. He co-authored a book “AIDS/HIV and Men: Taking Risk or Taking Responsibility” published by the London-based Panos Institute. In 2004 and again in 2009, he won the Golden Word Prize for a series of analytical articles on Russia's economic cooperation with African countries.