After this week the Russian Duma confirmed the presidential election by mid-March 2024, Ukraine announced that any attempt to hold these elections in the four annexed regions in September 2022 will be “null and void” because they are illegally occupied areas. Likewise, he assured that any international observer sent to these territories to supervise the process “will face criminal responsibilities.”
“We call on the international community to resolutely condemn Russia’s intention to hold presidential elections in the occupied Ukrainian territories and impose sanctions on those participating in their organization and holding,” they declared from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kiev.
However, Moscow has not yet confirmed that elections will be held in Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporozhyeas happened in the last legislative elections.
Despite being territories occupied by force, after gaining control, Vladimir Putin arranged the martial law in them with a modification that allows elections to be held in places where these war regulations apply. That is why there is already a history of elections there and a similar situation is contemplated for March.
The head of the Central Electoral Commission of Russia, Ella Pamfilova, commented this Thursday that her resolution on “the possibility of holding” the presidential vote in these areas will be announced before December 12. “We will take the decision after weighing all the pros and cons. “If we say in favor of making them, the next step would be to adopt a plan” although “of course, it will be different from the Russian regions,” she added.
Regarding Crimea, however, Moscow did not raise any doubts and has already confirmed the event.
The race for the presidency was launched last Thursday when the president of the Senate, Valentina Matviyenko, announced the official date of the elections, which, in any case, was modified shortly after to extend over three days: March 15, 16 and 17.
These will be the first federal elections since the start of the warin which the conflict will have an almost leading weight, either due to the discontent of the people or due to the nationalist sentiment that it awakens in some extremists.
The great unknown fell on the announcement of the Putin’s candidacy, which although taken for granted, continued to generate suspense. Although it was expected to occur on December 14, during his annual press conference, the Kremlin leader went ahead and confirmed it on Friday before decorated military personnel in a ceremony.
Thus, and thanks to a constitutional modification that supports him for re-election until 2036the President will seek to further extend his time in the Executive, with his repressive and inflexible control over the Russian people.
Even with high rates of disapproval and social discontent, he will implement his fraud machinery – which explains the extension of the elections for three days and the implementation of electronic voting, all strategies that make oversight difficult – to proclaim himself president. Furthermore, it must be added that the majority of opposition leaders are imprisoned, exiled or face all kinds of obstacles to presenting their candidacies.
(With information from The Associated Press)