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Russian presidential election, 2018

The 2018 Russian presidential election will take place on 18 March 2018.[1]

2018 Russian presidential election
Russia
← 2012 18 March 2018 2024 →
Opinion polls
  P. Grudinin.jpg Vladimir Zhirinovsky
Nominee Pavel Grudinin Vladimir Zhirinovsky
Party Communist Party Liberal Democratic Party
Home state Moscow Almaty
(now Kazakhstan)

Incumbent President

Vladimir Putin
United Russia



Election logo

The first round will be held on Sunday 18 March 2018. If in the first round no candidate attains an absolute majority of the votes (more than half), then according to the law, a second round will take place exactly three weeks later, on 8 April 2018.[2]

On 6 December 2017, the incumbent, President Vladimir Putin, announced that he will seek re-election for a second consecutive term[3] and fourth term overall. Putin is widely expected to win, and has consistently scored higher than 40%, and often much higher, in opinion polls since the last presidential election.[4][5]

Contents

Background

The President of Russia is directly elected for a term of six years, since being extended from four years in 2008 during Dmitry Medvedev’s administration.[6] As written in 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.[7] Parties with representation in the State Duma are able to nominate a candidate to run for the office while candidates from officially registered parties that are not in parliament have to collect at least 100,000 signatures. Independent candidates have to collect at least 300,000 signatures with no more than 7,500 from each federal subject of Russia[8] and also form action groups made up of at least 500 people.[9] The collection of signatures and the nomination process will take place during Russia’s winter holiday period, and 31 January 2018 will be the last day for submitting documents for registration.

Change of date

On 3 March 2017, senators Andrey Klishas and Anatoly Shirokov submitted to the State Duma draft amendments to the electoral legislation. One of the amendments involves the transfer of elections from the second to the third Sunday in March, i.e. from 11 to 18 March 2018.[10] According to article 5, paragraph 7 of Russian Federal law No. 19-FZ, "If the Sunday on which presidential elections are to be held coincides with the day preceding a public holiday, or this Sunday falls on week including a public holiday or this Sunday in is declared to be a working day, elections are appointed on the following Sunday". The second week of March includes International Women's Day (8 March), which is an official holiday in Russia.[11] The bill passed through the State Duma and Federation Council without delay in May 2017 and was signed into law by Vladimir Putin on 1 June 2017.[12][13] On 15 December, the upper house of the Federal Assembly, the Federation Council, officially confirmed that 18 March 2018 will be the date of the election, officially beginning the process of campaigning and registration for candidates.[14] This date is significant as it is the fourth anniversary of Crimea re-joining Russia (in the vast majority of countries this is referred to as the Russian annexation of Crimea).[15]

Nomination of candidates

Free access

Political parties represented in the State Duma and/or the legislative bodies of not less than one-third of the federal subjects could nominate a candidate without collecting signatures. The following parties could nominate candidates without collecting signatures: Civic Platform, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, A Just Russia, Rodina and United Russia.

On 1 July 2017, the chairman of Rodina Aleksey Zhuravlyov announced that the party will only support incumbent president Vladimir Putin in the election.[16] On 11 December, the leader of Civic Platform Rifat Shaykhutdinov also said that his party will support Putin.[17] On 24 December, the leader of A Just Russia Sergey Mironov commented that the party is not going to put forward a candidate. Senior party member Mikhail Yemelyanov confirmed that the party will support Putin's candidacy.[18]

Contested access

Individuals who belong to a party without any seats in the State Duma have to collect 105,000 signatures to become candidates, while those running as independents must collect 315,000 and also form a group of activists made up of at least 500 people.[19] Multiple political commentators, including former presidential hopeful Irina Khakamada, have talked about the difficulty of gathering signatures without the support of a political party, which casts doubt on many of the claims of the large number of people who have said that they will run for president as independents.[20] However, according to CEC Chairwoman Ella Pamfilova, the conditions for contested access candidates are easier than ever because they no longer need to collect 1,000,000 signatures. Therefore, according to Pamfilova, there may be even more candidates in this election than there were in 2000 when the election was contested by 11 candidates (the largest number of candidates in the history of presidential elections in Russia).[21]

Candidates

Candidates who have been officially registered by the Central Election Commission (CEC).

Candidate name, age,
political party
Political offices Campaign Details Registration date
Pavel Grudinin
(57)
Communist Party
  Deputy of the Moscow Oblast Duma
(1997–2011)
 
Campaign
Despite the fact that Communist Party leader and perennial candidate Gennady Zyuganov said his nomination was supported by all leftist forces and he would participate in the elections on behalf of the party, the Zhigulyovsk branch of the party voted to supported the candidacy of Pavel Grudinin, who also won the primaries of Left Front, a coalition of left-wing parties with no representation in the State Duma. Grudinin did not deny his nomination from the Communist Party.[22] On 21 December 2017 it was reported that Zyuganov proposed to nominate Grudinin.[23] Initially the Communist Party and the National Patriotic Forces of Russia (NPFR) planned to nominate a single candidate: Grudinin (supported by the Communists) or Yury Boldyrev (supported by the NPFR). Boldyrev also participated in the primaries of Left Front in which he lost in the second round to Grudinin.[24] According to the Deputy Alexander Yushchenko, Zyuganov was still among the candidates for the nomination. He named the other candidates as Yury Afonin, Sergey Levchenko and Leonid Kalashnikov. On 22 December Zyuganov, Levchenko and Kalashnikov withdrew their bids, and Zyuganov rejected the candidacies of Afonin and Boldyrev, leaving Grudinin as the sole candidate.[25] Grudinin was officially nominated at the party congress on 23 December.[26] Zyuganov is the head of Grudinin's presidential campaign.[27] Grudinin filed registration documents with the CEC on 28 December [28] and 9 January 2018.[29] 12 January 2018[30]
Vladimir Zhirinovsky
(71)
Liberal Democratic Party
  Deputy of the State Duma
(1993–present)
Leader of the Liberal Democratic Party
(1991–present)
Campaign In June 2015 Vladimir Zhirinovsky said he plans to participate in presidential elections, but in July of the same year, the politician said that the Liberal Democratic Party, perhaps “will pick a more efficient person.”[31][32] Already in March 2016, he announced the names of those were likely to be nominated as a candidate from the Liberal Democratic Party. This included Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Igor Lebedev or deputies Mikhail Degtyarev, Yaroslav Nilov and Alexei Didenko.[33] On 28 October 2016, the LDPR’s official website released a statement announcing that the party will nominate Zhirinovsky as their presidential candidate.[34][35] This is the fifth time that he is running for president since the breakup of the Soviet Union (and sixth overall). Zhirinovsky was officially nominated by his party at its 31st congress on 20 December 2017.[36] He submitted to the CEC some of the documents required for registration the next day,[37] and the rest of them on 27 December.[38] At 71, Zhirinovsky is the oldest person to run for president in Russia.[39] 29 December 2017[40]

Declared candidates

Declared candidates permitted by the Central Electoral Commission to collect signatures.

Candidate name,
political party
Political offices Signatures Details
Nominated by political parties
Elvira Agurbash
Green Alliance
(Website)
  None
Signatures collected

35,000 / 105,000
[41]
Signatures accepted

0 / 105,000
Elvira Agurbash, a businesswoman from Moscow Oblast, announced her intention to participate in the election on 5 September 2017.[42] She was officially nominated as the presidential candidate from the party Green Alliance at its congress on 21 December.[43] Agurbash filed registration documents with the CEC on 28 December.[44] The CEC commented that mistakes had been made in the documents and that they need to be resubmitted if Agurbash wants to proceed to the next stage of the registration procedure (opening a campaign bank account and collecting signatures).[45] Her documents were approved by the CEC on 2 January 2018.[46]
Sergey Baburin
Russian All-People's Union
(Website)
  People's Deputy of Russia
(1990–1993)
Deputy of the State Duma
(1994–2000, 2003–2007)
Signatures collected

0 / 105,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 105,000
On 22 December 2017, the Russian All-People's Union nominated Sergey Baburin as its presidential candidate.[47] On 24 December Baburin filed registration documents with the CEC.[48] The CEC rejected Baburin's bid on 25 December because it identified violations in the information provided regarding 18 of his party's 48 representatives.[49] Baburin resubmitted the documents and they were approved by the CEC.[50]
Anton Bakov
Monarchist Party
  Deputy of the State Duma
(2003–2007)
Chairman of the Monarchist Party
(2012–present)
Signatures collected

41,500 / 105,000
[51]
Signatures accepted

0 / 105,000
On 29 September 2017, Businessman Anton Bakov announced that he will run for president.[52] Bakov participated in the primaries of the Third Force bloc, which failed to determine a clear winner.[53] At a post-primaries press conference, the participants of the primaries (except Olga Anishchenko) claimed that they would be participating in the election as candidates.[54] Bakov was nominated at the Monarchist Party's congress on 23 December.[55] Bakov filed registration documents with the CEC on 26 December.[56] The CEC partially approved the documents and informed Bakov that he could address violations in the documents and resubmit them.[57] The CEC approved Bakov's documents on 5 January 2018.[58]
Yekaterina Gordon
Party of Good Deeds
(Website)
  None
Signatures collected

30,000 / 105,000
[59]
Signatures accepted

0 / 105,000
Journalist, singer-songwriter and activist Yekaterina Gordon announced her candidacy on 30 October 2017.[60] High-profile figures in the world of Russian politics were quick to dismiss and cast doubt on her candidacy.[61] Gordon has commented that she has a “positive [election] programme”.[62] It was initially assumed that she would run as an independent, however she was later nominated by the Party of Good Deeds on 23 December.[63] Gordon filed registration documents with the CEC on 27 December.[64] Her documents were approved by the CEC on 29 December.[65]
Roman Khudyakov
Chestno
  Deputy of the State Duma
(2012–2016)
Deputy of the Tambov Oblast Duma
(2016–present)
Signatures collected

0 / 105,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 105,000
On 21 December 2017 Chestno nominated Roman Khudyakov as the party's presidential candidate at its congress.[66] He submitted to the CEC the documents required for registration the next day.[67] The CEC approved his documents on 28 December.[68]
Mikhail Kozlov
Party of Social Security
  None
Signatures collected

0 / 105,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 105,000
Social psychology expert Mikhail Kozlov was nominated as the candidate of the Party of Social Security at its congress on 23 December 2017.[69] Kozlov filed registration documents with the CEC in late December. On 2 January 2018 the CEC rejected his documents due to a missing stamp.[70] Kozlov resubmitted documents, which were approved by the CEC on 5 January.[71]
Natalya Lisitsyna
Russian United Labour Front
  None
Signatures collected

0 / 105,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 105,000
Crane operator Lisitsyna was nominated by the Russian United Labour Front at its party congress on 21 December 2017 in St. Petersburg. The party then filed registration documents with the CEC.[72] On 25 December the CEC rejected Lisitsyna‘s bid because she failed the to provide an income statement and the party didn't to inform the CEC about its congress in good time.[73] Lisitsyna resubmitted documents on 27 December.[74] The CEC again refused to approve them due to mistakes that had been made.[75] They were files a third time, and on 5 January 2018 the CEC approved the documents.[76]
Stanislav Polishchuk
Party of Social Reform
  Chairman of the Party of Social Reform
Signatures collected

0 / 105,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 105,000
Chairman of the Party of Social Reform Stanislav Polishchuk submitted registration documents to the CEC on 26 December 2017.[77] His documents were approved on 2 January 2018.[78]
Ksenia Sobchak
Civil Initiative
(CampaignWebsite)
  None
Signatures collected

77,369 / 105,000
[79]
Signatures accepted

0 / 105,000
TV anchor, opposition activist and journalist Ksenia Sobchak announced that she would run for president in October 2017.[80] If registered, Sobchak will be the first female candidate in 14 years and the youngest candidate to run since 2004.[81][82] Sobchak was nominated by Civil Initiative at the party's congress on December 23 and became a member of the party.[83] Sobchak filed registration documents with the CEC on 25 December.[84] Her documents were approved by the CEC on 26 December.[85]
Maxim Suraikin
Communists of Russia
  Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communists of Russia
(2012–present)
Signatures collected

70,000 / 105,000
[86]
Signatures accepted

0 / 105,000
The Central Committee of the Communists of Russia party announced the nomination of its chairman Maxim Suraikin as its candidate for the election in February 2017. Suraikin stated that he aims to at least come in second place, and defeat Zyuganov's larger Communist Party of the Russian Federation.[87] CR nominated Suraikin at the party congress in Moscow on 24 December.[88] He filed registration documents with the CEC on the same day.[89] Suraikin's documents were approved by the CEC on 25 December.[90]
Boris Titov
Party of Growth
(CampaignWebsite)
  Leader of the Party of Growth
(2016–present)
Presidential Commissioner for Entrepreneurs' Rights
Signatures collected

90,000 / 105,000
[91]
Signatures accepted

0 / 105,000
The leader of the Party of Growth, Presidential Commissioner for Entrepreneurs' Rights Boris Titov declared that he would participation in presidential election on 26 November 2017. Initially the party conducted primaries in which Titov did not participate, however, according to the party leadership, none of the candidates received sufficient support.[92] Titov was officially nominated by his party on December 21.[93] He submitted to the CEC the documents required for registration the next day.[67] Titov's documents were approved by the CEC on 25 December.[94]
Irina Volynets
People's Party
(Website)
  None
Signatures collected

0 / 105,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 105,000
Chairwoman of the Central Council of the National Parent Committee Irina Volynets announced her intention to participate in the election on 25 September 2017.[95] Volynets participated in the primaries of the Third Force bloc, which failed to determine a clear winner.[96] At a post-primaries press conference, the participants of the primaries (except Olga Anishchenko) claimed that they would be participating in the election as candidates.[97] The media initially reported that she would be nominated by the People's Party.[98] However, on 30 December she was nominated by the People Against Corruption party.[99] Volynets filed registration documents with the CEC on 5 January 2018; the CEC refused to accept them as several documents were missing. She submitted the complete set on 6 January.[100] Volynets’ bid was rejected by the CEC on 10 January because she failed to inform the CEC about the date if her nomination in good time.[101] Volynets applied to the CEC a third time, on 12 January.[102] On 16 January the CEC approved the documents and allowed her to launch her campaign and begin collecting signatures.[103]
Grigory Yavlinsky
Yabloko
(CampaignWebsite)
  Chairman of Yabloko
(1993–2008)
Deputy of the
State Duma

(1993–2003)
Deputy of the
Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg

(2011–2016)
Signatures collected

87,500 / 105,000
[104]
Signatures accepted

0 / 105,000
Suggestions that Yavlinsky would run for president in 2018 were first made in 2013,[105] and he was announced as the candidate from the Yabloko party at a convention in February 2016, having been previously the party's candidate for the presidency in 1996 and 2000.[106] In the weeks following the announcement he began campaigning for the election early by travelling to multiple cities across the country.[107] Yabloko nominated Yavlinsky at its party congress on December 22.[108] He submitted to the CEC the documents required for registration the next day.[109] Yavlinsky's documents were approved by the CEC on 25 December.[110]
Self-nomination
Vladimir Mikhailov
(Website)
  Deputy of the Kostroma Oblast Duma
(2005–present)
Signatures collected

0 / 315,000

Signatures accepted

0 / 315,000
Inventor, entrepreneur, Deputy of the Kostroma Oblast Duma Vladimir Mikhailov said that he will run for the President on 26 July 2017.[111] Mikhailov filed registration documents with the CEC on 28 December.[112] They were approved by the CEC on 2 January 2018.[113]
Vladimir Putin
(CampaignWebsite)
  President of Russia
(2000–2008 and 2012–present)
Prime Minister of Russia
(1999–2000 and 2008–2012)
Leader of United Russia
(2008–2012)
Director of the Federal Security Service
(1998–1999)
Signatures collected

315,000 / 315,000
[114]
Signatures accepted

0 / 315,000
On 6 December 2017 Vladimir Putin announced that he will run for a second consecutive term.[115] Putin announced that he would run as an independent at his annual press conference on 14 December.[116] Putin's action group officially put forward his nomination in Moscow on 26 December.[117] Putin filed registration documents with the CEC the next day.[118] The CEC approved his documents on 28 December.[119]

Candidates graphic timeline

 

Campaigning

Pavel Grudinin

 
Grudinin campaign logo

At the end of November Pavel Grudinin won the primaries of Left Front, a coalition of left-wing parties with no representation in the State Duma. Some branch of the Communist Party voted to supported the candidacy of Grudinin did not deny his nomination from the Communist Party.[120] Despite the fact that in early November the First Secretary of the Communist party Gennady Zyuganov, said that his nomination is supported by all left-wing organizations, which the media felt that this was the official statement Zyuganov to participate in the election. However, later, Zyuganov denied this, saying that the official decision will be made at the party Congress in December. On 21 December it was reported that Zyuganov proposed to nominate Grudinin.[121] Initially the Communist Party and the National Patriotic Forces of Russia (NPFR) planned to nominate a single candidate: Grudinin (supported by the Communists) or Yury Boldyrev (supported by the NPFR). It should be noted that Boldyrev also participated in the primaries of Left Front in which he lost in the second round to Grudinin.[122] According to the Deputy Alexander Yushchenko, Gennady Zyuganov was still among the candidates for the nomination. He named the other candidates as Yury Afonin, Sergey Levchenko and Leonid Kalashnikov. On 22 December Zyuganov, Levchenko and Kalashnikov withdrew their bids, and Zyuganov rejected the candidacies of Afonin and Boldyrev, leaving Grudinin as the sole candidate.[123] Grudinin was officially selected as the presidential candidate from the Communist Party at its congress on 23 December.[124]

Alexei Navalny

 
Navalny campaign logo

Russian opposition figure and anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny announced his intention to run for the presidency on 13 December 2016.[125] In early 2017, he traveled to different cities across Russia to open campaign offices and meet with his supporters, despite his involvement in ongoing legal cases that may bar him from running. As noted in an article by Newsweek and by the former Russian presidential administration adviser Gleb Pavlovsky,[126] the American-style campaign by Navalny is unprecedented in modern Russia as most candidates do not start campaigning until a few months before the election. The primary focus of Navalny's campaign is combating corruption within the current government under Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.[127] On March 2, Navalny published a documentary on YouTube titled He Is Not Dimon To You, detailing the corrupt dealings of Prime Minister Medvedev.[128][129] He then called for mass rallies to be held on March 26 to bring attention to this after the government made no response to the documentary, which over 100,000 people were said to have attended across the country.[130][131] The March 26 rally was the largest protest held in Russia since the protests in 2011.[132] Since then Navalny has called for another protest to be held on Russia Day, which is June 12.[133]

On his website, Navalny lists the main principles of his presidential program: combating government corruption, improving infrastructure and living standards in Russia, decentralizing power from Moscow, developing the economy instead of remaining in isolation from the West, and reforming the judicial system.[134] His more specific economic proposals include instituting a minimum wage,[135] lowering prices of apartments and reducing bureaucracy of home construction, making healthcare and education free, lowering taxes for many citizens, taxing the gains from privatization, decentralization of financial management and increase in local governance, increasing transparency in state-owned firms, implementing work visas for Central Asian migrants coming into the country for work, and increasing economic cooperation with western European states.[136]

In April 2017, it was reported that Navalny's campaign staff had collected more than 300,000 pledged signatures from people across 40 regions of Russia electronically.[137] More than 75,000 people signed up to volunteer for his campaign and nearly $700,000 has been donated.[138] However, his eligibility was put into question by his five-year suspended sentence for accused embezzlement of timber from the company Kirovles, back when Navalny had been working as an aide to Governor Nikita Belykh of the Kirov Oblast. The Russian Supreme Court overturned his sentence in November 2016 after the European Court of Human Rights determined that Navalny's rights were violated and sent it back to a district court in the city of Kirov for review.[139] In February 2017, the district court upheld Navalny's suspended sentence.[140] The Constitution of Russia does not allow convicted criminals to run for office, so it is believed his candidacy will be rejected. Navalny promised to appeal the result to the ECHR and said he will continue campaigning,[141] while in early May the deputy head of the Russian CEC commented that he would not be allowed to run unless the sentence is overturned.[142] In August, the head of the CEC, Ella Pamfilova, reinforced this sentiment, saying that it would “take a miracle” for Navalny to be granted permission to run.[143]. She cited two scenarios in which Navalny could run - if his conviction is overturned, or in the event that federal election law is urgently changed to allow those with criminal convictions to run. Pamfilova added that the possibility of either scenario unfolding was “extremely low”. Panfliova later commented that Navalny could legally run for president by “some time in 2028”, i.e. ten years after his sentence expires.[144] The Memorial Human Rights Center recognized Navalny as a political prisoner.[145]

Members of the Navalny campaign have been harassed and detained by the police, including his chief of staff Leonid Volkov, who was sentenced to thirty days in jail in early December for organising an unauthorized rally (requests for rallies in city centers are often denied in Russia[citation needed]) in Nizhny Novgorod.[146][147]

Navalny published his election manifesto on 13 December 2017, two days prior to the official start of campaigning.[148]

He officially submitted his documents for registration as a candidate on 24 December 2017, and was rejected by the CEC the following day due to his conviction. Later that same day, 25 December, Navalny called on his supporters to boycott the election in response. Mass street protests are planned for 28 January 2018.[149]

Vladimir Putin

 
Putin campaign logo

Vladimir Putin announced his run on 6 December 2017, during his speech at the GAZ automobile plant.[150][151] A Just Russia[152], Civic Platform[153], The Greens[154],Great Fatherland Party[155], Labor Party[156], Party of Pensioners[157], Patriots of Russia[158], Rodina[159], and United Russia[160] have endorsed his presidential bid.

Ksenia Sobchak

 
Sobchak campaign logo

Rumors about the nomination of Ksenia Sobchak in the 2018 election appeared a month before she officially announced that she would run for president.[161]

Sobchak officially announced that she would run for president on 19 October 2017, in a YouTube video. In the video, Sobchak said she is the candidate “against all”, because since the 2004 election, the “against all” option (or “none of the above” as it is more commonly known in English-speaking countries) has been excluded from the ballot, and Sobchak wants to give people the opportunity to again vote “against all”. At the same time, Sobchak said she will withdraw her candidacy if Alexey Navalny is registered as a candidate by the Central Election Commission.[162]

Originally Sobchak put herself forward as an independent candidate. In this case she would have had to collect at least 300,000 signatures in order to be admitted to the election. Soon after, however, Sobchak’s campaign team said that would be nominated by a political party, namely the People’s Freedom Party or Civil Initiative.[163]

On 15 November 2017, it was announced that Sobchak will be nominated by Civil Initiative at its congress in December.[164]

On 23 December 2017, at Civil Initiative's congress Sobchak was officially nominated for president. On the same day, she joined the party.[165] Sobchak’s team began gathering signatures in support of her candidacy on 27 December, soon after her registration documents were approved by the CEC.[166]

Boris Titov

 
Titov campaign logo

Initially the Party of Growth conducted primaries which were attended by four candidates: Oksana Dmitriyeva, Dmitry Potapenko, Dmitry Marinichev and Alexander Khurudzhi.[167] Boris Titov did not participate in the primaries. However, at the meeting of the federal council of the party it was decided to nominate Titov. According to a person from the party leadership, none of the proposed candidates were able to obtain sufficient support.[168]

According to Titov, the main task of participation in election is to promote the party's Growth Strategy economic program, which was prepared by the Stolypin Club and presented to President Vladimir Putin in May 2017. During the campaign Titov and his team intend to travel around the country to promote the program.[169]

Titov was officially nominated by his party on December 21.[170] He submitted to the CEC the documents required for registration the next day.[67] Titov’s documents were approved by the CEC on 25 December, which meant that he could begin collecting signatures.[171] A party spokesman commented that the collection signatures in support of Titov will begin in early January 2018.[172]

Grigory Yavlinsky

 
Yavlinsky campaign logo

Economist Grigory Yavlinsky announced his presidential bid in February 2016 as the candidate for the liberal party Yabloko,[106] though suggestions that he would run were first voiced in 2013 after he was barred from taking part in the 2012 election.[105] His policies mainly focus on improving the economic situation through governance reforms and stopping involvement in conflicts.[173] He was nominated by the party leader, Emilia Slabunova, who stressed the need to unite all "democratic forces" behind one candidate and noted his political experience, and also received an endorsement from opposition politician Vladimir Ryzhkov. Yavlinsky had previously run in the 1996 and 2000 presidential elections, getting 7.4% of the vote in the former.[106] He spoke at a party forum announcing the start of the campaign in February 2017. Among the other proposals he made were to give out several acres of free land to families so they can build home there and develop it, which he said would house 15 million families,[174] and to turn the Russian Armed Forces into a fully professional military by abolishing conscription.[175]

In March 2017, Yavlinsky stated that he will be visiting several major cities in fifteen different regions across the country to raise support. He used Alexei Navalny's recent tour of different cities as an example, refusing to use the traditional model of campaigning a few months before the election. Since he is unable to visit more locations, Slabunova, the leader of Yabloko, and Nikolai Rybakov, his chief of staff, will go to other cities to campaign as well.[107]

On 1 November 2017, Yabloko launched the official website of Yavlinsky's campaign.[176]

Vladimir Zhirinovsky

Vladimir Zhirinovsky announced his participation in the presidential elections on 28 October 2016 as the candidate for the Liberal Democratic Party. In the event of his election, Zhirinovsky promised to amend the Constitution of Russia and to radically change the polity of the country. In particular, Zhirinovsky promised to abolish the federal structure of Russia and to return to the Governorates, rename the post of "President of Russia" to the "Supreme Ruler of Russia" and to restore Russia's borders to the borders of the USSR as of 1985.[34]

In March 2017, Zhirinovsky promised to declare a general amnesty if elected president.[177]

Opinion polls

References

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