According to Russia’s Central Election Commission’s final results announced on March 23 incumbent Russian President Vladimir Putin was re-elected to his fourth term as Russia’s head of state during the March 18 election winning 76.69% of the ballots, while Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin took second place with 11.77%.
Leader of the Liberal-Democratic Party Vladimir Zhirinovsky came in a distant third with 5.65% of the vote, while TV personality and socialite Ksenia Sobchak (nominated by the Civil Initiative party) garnered 1.68% ending up in fourth place. Next trailing far behind are head of the Yabloko Party’s federal political committee Grigory Yavlinsky (1.05%), Chairman of the Party of Growth and Russian Presidential Envoy for Entrepreneurs’ Rights Boris Titov (0.76%), Maxim Suraikin, nominated by the Communists of Russia party (0.68%) and head of the Russian People’s Union party Sergei Baburin (0.65%).
According to TASS, Central Election Commission’s Head Ella Pamfilova said that the March 18 presidential election in Russia was transparent, competitive and in line with the law. The voter turnout reached 67.54% or more than 73 million people. During the 2012 presidential election the figure was 65.34%.
Russian voters abroad were the most active since 2000, the election chief said. Some 474,616 citizens cast their ballots. The number is 32,330 higher than in 2012.A record-setting 56.43 million Russian voters threw their support behind Putin. In 2000, he received 52.94% of the ballots and was backed by 39.74 million people. Four years later, Putin secured 71.31% of the vote and more than 49.5 million people cast their ballots in favor of him.
Achievements of Putin
Apart from stopping the US and NATOalliance from making the world unipolar, Putin has been instrumental in improving Russia’s economy as well as reestablishing its image as a powerful country. Under the Putin administration from 2001 to 2007, the economy made real gains of an average 7% per year, making it the 7th largest economy in the world in purchasing power. In 2007, Russia’s GDP exceeded that of Russian SFSR in 1990, having recovered from the 1998 financial crisis and the preceding recession in the 1990s. During Putin’s first eight years in office, industry grew substantially, as did production, construction, real incomes, credit, and the middle class. Putin has also been praised for eliminating widespread barter and thus boosting the economy. Inflation and rising cost of living remained a problem however. Oil and gas industry has helped Putin to remake Russia. A fund for oil revenue allowed Russia to repay all of the Soviet Union’s debts by 2005. Under Putin, Russia has become a major exporter of oil and gas to much of Europe. Putin also spearheaded some crucial reforms. Russia joined the World Trade Organization on 22 August 2012.
Russia diversified its export markets by building the Trans-Siberian oil pipeline to the markets of China, Japan and Korea, as well as the Sakhalin–Khabarovsk–Vladivostok gas pipeline in the Russian Far East. Russia has also recently built several major oil and gas refineries, plants and ports. On 21 May 2014, Russia and China signed a $400 billion gas deal. The construction of a pipeline at a cost of $77bn, to be jointly funded by Russia and China, was signed off on by President Putin in Shanghai on 21 May 2014. On completion in 4 to 6 years, the pipeline would deliver natural gas from the state-majority-owned Gazprom to China’s state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation for the next 30 years, in a deal worth $400bn.
Construction of major hydropower plants, such as the Bureya Dam and the Boguchany Dam, as well as the restoration of the nuclear industry of Russia, with 1 trillion rubles ($42.7 billion) were allocated from the federal budget to nuclear power and industry development before 2015. A large number of nuclear power stations and units are currently being constructed by the state corporation Rosatom in Russia and abroad.
A construction program of floating nuclear power plants will provide power to Russian Arctic coastal cities and gas rigs, starting in 2012. The Arctic policy of Russia also includes an offshore oilfield in the Pechora Sea is expected to start producing in early 2012, with the world’s first ice-resistant oil platform and first offshore Arctic platform. In August 2011 Rosneft, a Russian government-operated oil company, signed a deal with ExxonMobil for Arctic oil production.