Lawmakers in Russia set the country’s 2024 presidential election for March 17, moving Vladimir Putin a step closer to a fifth term in office.
Members of the Federation Council, Russia’s upper house of parliament, voted unanimously Thursday to approve a decree setting the date.
“In essence, this decision marks the start of the election campaign,” Valentina Matviyenko, the chamber’s speaker, said.
Putin, 71, hasn’t announced his intention to run again, but he is widely expected to do so soon now that election day is scheduled. Russia’s Central Election Commission plans to hold a meeting Friday on the presidential campaign.
Asked whether Putin had decided to seek reelection, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov urged reporters to “be patient.”
Under constitutional reforms he orchestrated, Putin is eligible to seek two more six-year terms after his current term expires next year, potentially allowing him to remain in power until 2036.
The tight control over Russia’s political system that he has established during 24 years in power makes his reelection in March all but assured. Prominent critics who could challenge…
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