Get ready for another election. On March 18, 2018 the presidential elections will take place in Russia. Every six years, the people of Russia choose their next president. Right now, Putin scores highest in the polls.This means he will probably be elected as President once more. How does the ‘new’ President actually get elected? How do the Russian elections work again?
Two round system
The Russian elections might work a little differently than you’re used to. The people vote for a candidate they want as President with a total of eight people running this year. So this election is for the President only. On 18 March people go to vote for their preferred candidate and the winning candidate has to attain at least more than half of the votes. If this isn’t the case in the first round, a second round, between the two candidates with the highest scores, will take place three weeks later (8 April 2018). However, the election of the President has nothing to do with the rest of the people in the government. Those elections are not this year.
A running president can be re-elected once. So, the longest a president can run consecutively is two terms, twelve years. However, if the president ran two terms and then doesn’t run a term, he or she can start with a clean slate again. That’s what happened to Putin. He was President of the Russian Federation from 2000 until 2008. He then was Prime Minister (considered the second highest position in the government in Russia) from 2008 until 2012 and has been President again since 2012. This means he can run for one more term of six years and then he has to step back once more.
Of course, he is not the only one trying to become President. In the map below you can see all the locations where the official running candidates were born and you can find some extra information per candidate such as their party, campaign details and extra facts, just click on the icons to find out more.
An important other person that should be mentioned here is Alexei Navalny. Navalny was very popular. as head of the opposition, fighting against political corruption. In all the polls he had the highest rating after Putin. Still, he wasn’t close to beating Putin but it did make Putin nervous. Navalny was running as a candidate for the 2018 elections. However, Putin’s only ‘serious’ threat, got barred from competing by the Central Electoral Commission (CEC). They said Navalny was ineligible because of a corruption conviction. Navalny claims this is politically motivated.
How to run
If you want to become a candidate in the race for Russian Presidency, there are many criteria you must meet. First, you need to be at least 35 years of age and you need to have been a be a permanent resident in Russia for at least 10 years. Now if you are not represented by a large party chances are that you need to collect at least 100000 signatures. If you want to compete without a party, it’s even harder. So, there you have the Russian elections in a nutshell. You can download the maps used in this article when you log in/register.