Vladimir Putin wins fourth presidential term, gains massive mandate by clinching 77% of votes [Photos]

Russian President Vladimir Putin won a fourth presidential term with nearly 77 percent of the vote — his highest score ever and a massive mandate to pursue his nationalist, assertive policies for another six years in power

FP Staff March 19, 2018 18:59:57 IST
Russian president Vladimir Putin won a fourth presidential term with nearly 77 percent of the votes — his highest score ever and a massive mandate to pursue his nationalist, assertive policies for another six years in power. AP
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Russian president Vladimir Putin won a fourth presidential term with nearly 77 percent of the votes — his highest score ever and a massive mandate to pursue his nationalist, assertive policies for another six years in power. AP
Near-final results released Monday showed that the other seven candidates were far behind Putin in Sunday's voting. AP
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Near-final results released Monday showed that the other seven candidates were far behind Putin in Sunday's voting. AP
Observers reported widespread ballot stuffing and unprecedented pressure on Russians to vote, but that is unlikely to seriously damage Putin given his popularity and his tight control over Russian politics. AP
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Observers reported widespread ballot stuffing and unprecedented pressure on Russians to vote, but that is unlikely to seriously damage Putin given his popularity and his tight control over Russian politics. AP
With 99.8 percent of the vote counted, Central Election Commission said that communist Pavel Grudinin came in a distant second with 11.9 percent. The third was ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky with 5.7 percent. The only candidate to openly criticise Putin during the campaign, liberal TV star Ksenia Sobchak, won 1.7 percent. Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, left, with Sobchak, right, as they observe election progress in Moscow. AP
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With 99.8 percent of the vote counted, Central Election Commission said that communist Pavel Grudinin came in a distant second with 11.9 percent. The third was ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky with 5.7 percent. The only candidate to openly criticise Putin during the campaign, liberal TV star Ksenia Sobchak, won 1.7 percent. Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, left, with Sobchak, right, as they observe election progress in Moscow. AP
Putin's most serious rival, Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, was barred from the race because of a fraud conviction, which was widely seen as politically motivated. AP
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Putin's most serious rival, Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, was barred from the race because of a fraud conviction, which was widely seen as politically motivated. AP
The electoral commission said official turnout was 67 percent, but the figure was marred by widespread account of workers being coerced to vote and numerous incidents of ballot stuffing. Putin at his campaign headquarters in Moscow on Sunday. AP
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The electoral commission said official turnout was 67 percent, but the figure was marred by widespread account of workers being coerced to vote and numerous incidents of ballot stuffing. Putin at his campaign headquarters in Moscow on Sunday. AP
Putin has never faced a serious threat to his rule since he came to power on the eve of the new millennium. He won 53 percent of the vote in the 2000 presidential election, 71 percent in 2004 and 64 percent in 2012. Putin waves to the crowd of supporters during a rally near the Kremlin in Moscow. AP
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Putin has never faced a serious threat to his rule since he came to power on the eve of the new millennium. He won 53 percent of the vote in the 2000 presidential election, 71 percent in 2004 and 64 percent in 2012. Putin waves to the crowd of supporters during a rally near the Kremlin in Moscow. AP
The massive victory gives Putin new confidence to stand up to the West. The election came amid escalating Cold War-like tensions, with accusations that Moscow was behind the nerve-agent poisoning this month of a former Russian double agent in Britain and that its internet trolls had waged an extensive campaign to undermine the 2016 US presidential election. AP
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The massive victory gives Putin new confidence to stand up to the West. The election came amid escalating Cold War-like tensions, with accusations that Moscow was behind the nerve-agent poisoning this month of a former Russian double agent in Britain and that its internet trolls had waged an extensive campaign to undermine the 2016 US presidential election. AP
The accusations ultimately bolstered Putin among a populace that sees him as their defender against a hostile outside world and the embodiment of Russia's resurgent power on the world stage. AP
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The accusations ultimately bolstered Putin among a populace that sees him as their defender against a hostile outside world and the embodiment of Russia's resurgent power on the world stage. AP
The election was such a foregone conclusion that Putin gave only a perfunctory victory speech and said nothing about what he will do for his country. "We are bound for success," he said, to crowds near the Kremlin chanting "Russia! Russia!" AP
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The election was such a foregone conclusion that Putin gave only a perfunctory victory speech and said nothing about what he will do for his country. "We are bound for success," he said, to crowds near the Kremlin chanting "Russia! Russia!" AP