100% of votes for Putin: the Kremlin began preparations for the presidential election in 2024, media
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According to journalists, the Kremlin aims to provide the Russian dictator with “total support” so that the numbers in the elections are no less than in the recent “referenda”.
The presidential administration (AP) has already begun to prepare for 2024 presidential campaign, Meduza reports. Sources close to the Presidential Administration say that the Kremlin is holding meetings on this topic with the participation of officials and political technologists.
According to them, the campaign will be built exclusively for Vladimir Putin, other candidates from the government are not considered, and his “rivals” should be the leaders of parties that have representation in the State Duma. Unlike the previous elections, in 2024 they decided to refuse to attract liberal candidates like Grigory Yavlinsky or Ksenia Sobchak as “sparring partners”.
“Support must be total”
The interlocutors of the publication said that usually the Kremlin begins to prepare for the presidential election about a year and a half before voting day, which takes place in March. First, the “outlines” of the campaign are sketched in the Presidential Administration, then political technologists are chosen who will have to ensure voting in the Russian regions. A few months before election day, “mobilization nets” are being built in the regions to ensure Putin's support from state employees and other loyal voters. By this point, the Kremlin already has a final ideological campaign strategy.
However, it is not yet clear what ideological platform will be used for the upcoming elections. Journalists' sources say Putin will resort to anti-Western rhetoric, talking about “the return of Russia's greatness, the fight against the West and a multipolar world.” The problem is that such rhetoric is of interest primarily to the dictator himself, and not to voters who care about other problems.
The Kremlin hopes that the Russian-Ukrainian war will end by the presidential elections, as people will need to present something as a victory. What exactly will be declared a victory is also not yet clear. It is supposed to be a “set” of annexed territories seized from Ukraine.
Whatever the case, the Kremlin wants to set a record in the elections, providing Putin with almost 100% of the vote.
“After what indicators were officially announced at the “referendums on joining” the “DPR” and “LPR”, Kherson and Zaporozhye, it will be impossible to show anything much lower. Support should be total. Including to demonstrate the president’s popularity to the West” , — said one of the sources.
An alternative to elections
At the same time, a political consultant cooperating with the Kremlin admitted that the most “logical and understandable” option would be not to hold elections at all in 2024. Instead, martial law could be introduced in Russia to delay the vote.
According to the interlocutor, in a year and a half, the economic consequences of anti-Russian sanctions and the isolation of the Russian Federation will fully make themselves felt. If, under these conditions, an off-scale result is shown in the elections, the population will be very annoyed by this. However, according to the political strategist, Putin is unlikely to want to resort to such a scenario, as he is too fond of “seeing the results of popular support.”
Among the UN members, only Belarus, North Korea, Nicaragua, and Syria recognized the results of “referendums” and Russia itself.
After that, Russian representatives called the voting results at the UN General Assembly “fraud”. They said that the West “launched a campaign of blackmail” to intimidate developing countries and knock them out of the right decision.
It was reported that two residents of Finland ridiculed the “referenda” of the occupiers. They held their own vote on the issue of “joining Ukraine” parking space in front of the apartment of Russian Consul General Petr Plikhin in the city of Turku. Then, stating that the proposal was supported by 100% of the voters, and no one presented counterproposals, the Finns painted the parking space in the colors of the Ukrainian flag.