The Kremlin intends to abandon holding of presidential election in 2018 and replace it with a referendum on the “trust to the national leader” Vladimir Putin.
This was reported by TV channel Dozhd (“The Rain” – RRT) citing a source in the Kremlin.
“The president’s administration does not see any sense to artificially select opponents to Putin who would bring interest to the election. As of today there is no candidate who would create an intrigue,” said the source.
In particular, the Kremlin does not believe that the head of the Fund for the fight against corruption, Alexei Navalny is a real competitor. He can raise “a lot of unnecessary negative” against the authorities, but won’t contribute significantly to increasing the turnout.
Thus, in March 2018 Russia could expect not a presidential election, but rather a referendum on trust in Putin.
Moreover, the Kremlin has set a goal that the percentage of votes for Putin was higher than ever. In 2012 63% voted for Putin.
The presidential election in Russia is scheduled for March 11th, 2018.