MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has 80 percent perennial approval, declared his intention on Wednesday to run for re-election in March, essentially guaranteeing a new six-year term for the Kremlin leader.
"I will propose my candidacy for the office of president of the Russian Federation," Putin said at a rally and concert at the Gorky car factory in the city of the Volga River. of Nizhny Novgorod. "Maybe there's no better place and a better reason to announce this, I'm sure everything will be fine."
It's a vote that can only have one result. Although 30 others have declared their candidacy, there was no doubt that the man the Russians would call Person No. 1 would run and that the Kremlin's political machinery would not allow a surprise.
Shortly after Putin's announcement, Russia's main pro-government party, United Russia, announced its intention to support its re-election campaign.
Until Wednesday, Putin had remained quietly above the fray, showing himself as a leader and servant of the state rather than a political hope.
TV presenter and partner Ksenia Sobchak, daughter of the mayor of St. Petersburg who had hired Putin in the 1990s, has won many headlines with her campaign as " candidate against all. "
Crusader anti-corruption Alexei Navalny has been campaigning for months, although a criminal conviction that says he was politically motivated disqualifies him.
"He wants to be in power for 21 years," he tweeted Navalny on Wednesday, referring to Putin. "In my opinion that's a bit too much, I suggest you do not agree with him."
Putin has been the de facto leader of Russia since Boris Yeltsin resigned on New Year's Eve in 1999. Putin resigned from the President only when he was forced by the limit of the constitution of two consecutive terms as the director. Putin served as prime minister between his second and third terms as president, from 2008 to 2012, and has led Russia for 18 years.
The only postimperial leader of the Kremlin who served in the long term was Joseph Stalin, who ruled the Soviet Union for 29 years.
Russian news agencies reported that the Kremlin has been responsible for maintaining Putin's participation in the vote and the country's participation at 70%, a "70th plan" 70 ".
The Kremlin is concerned about the drop in interest in elections among young people, who in the last year have resurfaced in the political landscape through street protests not allowed reinforced by high school and university students angry about the lack of freedom policies and reforms in the country.
A recent poll by the independent Levada Center found that 58% of Russians would vote if elections were held now, and 53% said they would vote for Putin.