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  Monday, June 24, 2019
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Elections in Russia – like in good old days
United Russia did not have the honor of nominating President Vladimir Putin for presidency, as he preferred to nominate himself as an independent candidate. But they will be afforded the honor to help collect the 2 million signatures from supporters needed by local election laws to confirm Putin’s registration as a presidential candidate for the poll slated for March 14. Though most of those collecting the signatures are not United Russia members, all party’s regional offices, however, will be involved in the task. But collecting the signatures will not be real problem for Putin, whose major concern is how to ensure a large turnout on the election day against a background of projected electorate apathy to the poll. Meanwhile, the list of Putin’s trustees, registered in late December, includes 252 names, mostly top business managers and region administration representatives, who will not have any problem collecting at least 10,000 signatures each. For instance, it will be difficult to imagine a situation where Alexei Mordashyov, president of the Severstal Group or Nokolai Pugin, president of GAZ, two of the trustees in charge of big companies that employ several thousands of workers cannot produce the required amounts of signatures for Putin’s confirmation at the Central Electoral Commission. The same is true of other trustees, which include regional administrators or universities rectors, who will use their institutions to organize collection of signatures for Putin, according to Nezavisimaya Gazeta. Already, there is a scandal in Saratov, where students are reportedly being asked to submit their signatures for Putin as a condition for being allowed to sit for their winter examinations. According to sources in Kremlin administration, a smart PR technique is in stock for Russian electorate. The campaign for Putin will urge people to come not to chose Putin from other candidates, but to come and express their approval of what he is doing by their vote. This idea is not actually very new – many Russian citizens took part in such type of elections on a regular basis not a very long time ago…
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