Putin set to win fourth presidential term

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President Vladimir Putin is set to win a fourth term in the Russian presidential elections on March 18, reports Reuters. However, it would be the last term he is allowed by current rules in the Russian constitution.

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Though there are eight candidates in the vote, Putin’s rivals trail far behind his 80 percent approval rating (Washington Post). The result is not in question, reports The Economist.

His victory will only be threatened if there is a low turnout – which could hinder his legitimacy as a leader – or if the Russians who oppose him take to the streets on election day.

The president, who is the longest serving leader since Communist Party leader Joseph Stalin, has carved a public image of himself as a fierce defender of Russia’s national interests against hostile Western governments. Another term would take Putin to nearly a quarter century in power.

His expected win will come on the back of an international standoff between Russia and Britain over the poisoning of a former Russian double agent on UK soil. Fingers point to Moscow however the Kremlin denies any wrongdoing.

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