Russians have 8 presidential candidates
Russia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) has concluded the registration of presidential candidates: a total of eight people have been granted the right to stand in the election, the chief of Russia’s CEC Ella Pamfilova said.
Today Ksenia Sobchak (Civil Initiative) and Maxim Suraikin (Communists of Russia) were registered by the CEC.
Candidates nominated by parliamentary parties - leader of the of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Communist Party’s candidate Pavel Grudinin - were the first to be registered as candidates because they did not have to collect voter signatures.
The candidates’ names will be listed on the ballot in Russian alphabetical order: Sergei Baburin (Russian All-People’s Union), Pavel Grudinin (Communist Party of Russia), Vladimir Zhirinovsky (LDPR), Putin Vladimir (independent), Ksenia Sobchak (Civil Initiative), Maxim Suraikin (Communists of Russia), Boris Titov (Party of Growth), Grigory Yavlinsky (Yabloko).
Initially, 70 people – 46 independents and 24 party-nominated – informed the CEC that they intended to participate in the election as candidates. 36 people were nominated to participate in the election – 15 independents and 21 party-nominated candidates. Out of them, 5 have been registered, 17 have been rejected and 11 withdrew.
Out of 16 contenders who collected voter signatures only 6 managed to submit the required amount of voter autographs to the Central Election Commission. All of them were granted registration as the number of invalid signatures did not exceed the 5% level allowed by the law.
The director of the Institute of Political Studies Sergei Markov, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza, explained that the composition of candidates in the upcoming elections differs little from from the previous presidential campaign.
"We see Vladimir Putin, who absolutely dominates in the political space and is likely to win already the first round. In addition, we see his main competitors for the votes, but not competitors in terms of real prospects - Pavel Grudinin and Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who will fight for the second or third place," the expert said.
Sergei Baburin and Grigory Yavlinsky - moderate nationalist and pro-Western politician - are rather allies of Vladimir Putin, according to Markov.
The director of the Institute of Political Studies noted that a certain feature of the upcoming elections is the presence of a candidate from the radical opposition, the so-called "fifth column", Ksenia Sobchak. "However, there will be no surprises. Also we have Boris Titov. Both these candidates are an attempt of the liberal patriots to form their own program," he said.
Commenting on the possible voter turnout, the expert recalled that, as a rule, communists are the most active. "But now, I think, Putin's supporters will be the most active," Sergei Markov predicted.
The director of the Center for Political Information, Alexei Mukhin, agreed with Markov. "The composition of the candidates is very simple: Vladimir Putin acts on the first platform, de facto, he has no rivals. Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Pavel Grudinin act on the second platform, they are fighting for the second place, and this is a matter of principle for both of them, since it is the last election campaign for Zhirinovsky, and Grudinin wants to be the second to try to win the election of the governor of the Moscow region this autumn. The third platform is the remaining five candidates, which are not very interesting, because their political rating is extremely small," he said.
Alexei Mukhin expressed confidence that voters supporting the current president will come to the vote more actively this year than during the previous elections.