Next year Russia is facing an election. The main question on everyone’s minds the whether the current president Vladimir Putin will rule the country for what would be his fourth consecutive term. The questions have heavy both political and economic undercurrents. If Putin were to win, he would have had control over Russia for 24 years. This is exactly how long Joseph Stalin ruled over the USSR. One cannot imagine Russia without Vladimir Putin at its throne, but it is obvious to many people that even if he were to lose, the political structure of one of the world’s most influential countries would still be within his control.
What did Putin bring with his presidency?
During the many years that Vladimir Putin has been ruling over Russia, the country has experienced a lot : economic progress, recession, military action and even social unrest. Vladimir Putin is an ex-KGB agent and during his first elections in 2000 and 2004 there were widespread rumors that the votes of the election has been rigged. Afterwards, he could not run for the third term of presidency. During the last days of his reign, Putin and other politicians applied certain law changes that made the prime minister more powerful than the president. Then, in 2008 during the elections Vladimir Putin was appointed the prime minister of Russia. What is more, when Putin has officially become the president of the country for the third time, laws were amended to extend the presidential term from four to six years. Vladimir Putin has often made pledges that he would step down as the president according to the laws of the constitution, but it is a promise that he keeps breaking hence many people believe that his reign over Russia will not be over any time soon.
Do the Elections hold any power?
The political composition of Russia is more European than American, meaning there are many parties and a more fractured electorate. Unfortunately, this ideological diversity has not led to any political diversity in Russia over the last couple of years. Putin’s party, United Russia, hold all the highest positions in the Russian government. What is more, earlier this year one of Putin’s biggest political opponents, Boris Nemtsov was assassinated. He was a very popular political figure amongst young Russians and people who do not support the political regime of Vladimir Putin. Furthermore, he was the man who had the potential to bring more capitalism into the Russian life and westernise the country. All these events raise another question in people’s minds – do the Russian elections even matter? What potential do they hold in actually making a change in Russian way of life? Afterall Putin has ruled the country for a quarter of a century.