... as a long-predicted outcome has been confirmed on Sunday night. Nobody is surprised that Vladimir V. Putin will be Russia’s president for another six years. Putin himself used simple words when he addressed his supporters waiting outside the Kremlin that evening: “We have won. (…) We have gained a clean victory. We won. Glory for Russia!” Raising his arms in victory pose Putin seemed to look forward to his comeback as Russia's president. With a few tears he shed a glimpse of relief ran down his face, too.
“(...) the opposition groups’ call for more protests, starting with a rally on Monday night in Pushkin Square in central Moscow, threaten to undercut his promise of stability. Some opposition leaders called for protests beyond those allowed by government permits, raising the prospect of a sharp response from the authorities”, so the New York Times.
According to Russia’s Central Election Commission Putin pooled 64 per cent of the votes. But critics doubt that the ballot was righteous. An interactive map shows where independet election observers monitored abuses. The European Union asks Putin to follow up these accusations. The OSCE - the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe - reported irregularities in every third ballot.
Today Putin met with other candidates who only managed to get less than 20 percent of the votes. But according to the SPIEGEL the election had a second winner: "Mikhail Prokhorov, the billionaire presidential candidate. He managed to win third place, ahead of Zhirinovsky. According to data from the VTsIOM polling institute, he received almost as many votes as the communist Zyuganov in central Russia. (...) After his successful election debut, Prokhorov, who enjoys the Kremlin's blessing, could become a political force in the long term. "
In May Putin's third term will start. He has been elected for six years in the office but there are doubts he will make it that long. The New York Times quoted Viktor Shvykov, a former police captain who said: “He has a very short period of time to make some serious changes or the dissatisfaction will grow rapidly.” Is this the beginning of the end?
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