Putin the projected winner of Russia’s presidential election

Sunday was election day across Russia and candidates Vladimir Putin, Gennady Zyuganov, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Mikhail Prokhorov, and Sergei Mironov were hoping for the voting to decide in their favour to lead Russia for the next six years. Polling projections indicate that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has avoided a second round run-off by winning the vote clearly in the first round with at least 56 percent of the vote.

To cast a vote, all it takes is a simple ballot tick on the box next to the name of one candidate. Russian citizens18 or older have the right to vote and there are 109 million eligible voters. Facilitating the voting are over 95,000 polling stations in Russia, most of them covered by Internet and Satellite video cameras recently installed by the government to assure citizens that the government is cracking down on potential vote fraud.

Early voting in remote areas began last month and Russians living in other countries were given opportunities to cast ballots as well. Voting for military personnel began in mid-February.

Under current President Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian parliament adopted legislation lengthening the presidential terms from four to six years. The Russian Federation constitution limits individuals to two consecutive terms as president, but as in the case of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, allows an individual to run again after stepping aside for a term. After the Federal Election Commission formally declares the winner, the new president will be inaugurated in May.

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