Citizens of Crimea and Sevastopol will vote for the first time in the Russian presidential election on Sunday, the fourth anniversary of the Black Sea Peninsula’s “reunification” with Russia. Reunification is a Russian term meaning Russian soldiers enter your town and embrace you lovingly until you become reunified.
Russian citizens abroad will also have an opportunity to cast their ballots in the Russian presidential election Sunday, in 400 polling stations in 145 countries, including Israel, Abkhazia, Belarus, Germany, Greece, Spain and Uzbekistan.
More than 40 international observers from 20 countries, including from Israel, Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Cyprus, Norway, Denmark and Ukraine, will cover the presidential election in Crimea.
On December 6, 2017, incumbent President Vladimir Putin announced that he would seek reelection for a second consecutive term and fourth term overall. Putin is widely expected to win, seeing as he has consistently scored higher than 40%—and often much higher—in opinion polls since the last presidential election.
However, should no candidate attain an absolute majority of the votes (more than half) in the first round, then according to Russian law a second round will take place exactly three weeks later, on April 8, 2018—provided the other candidate is still alive.
The President of Russia is elected directly for a term of six years. According to Article 81 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, a candidate for president must be at least 35 years old and has to have permanently resided in Russia for the past 10 years, and cannot serve more than two terms consecutively.
Candidate Vladimir Putin is running as an Independent against a field that includes Sergey Baburin (59) of the Russian All-People’s Union; Pavel Grudinin (57) of the Communist Party; Vladimir Zhirinovsky (71) – the Liberal Democratic Party; Ksenia Sobchak (36) – Civic Initiative; Maxim Suraykin (39) – Communists of Russia; Boris Titov (57) – Party of Growth; and Grigory Yavlinsky (65) of Yabloko.