Russian President Vladimir Putin has emerged as a controversial leader in the world as he tries to reshape the world order. Like the U.S., Russia is also a democracy even though the country’s democratic credentials are questionable. Elections are held regularly in Russia. When is Putin up for reelection and will he be able to win again?
Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is the biggest armed conflict in Europe since World War II. While the West has responded with sanctions, Putin has been undeterred and Russia has issued counter warnings including on nuclear weapons. More recently Russia has warned that crude oil prices might rise to $300 per barrel.
Putin became the Russian prime minister in 1999.
In 1999, Russian President Boris Yeltsin appointed Putin as the country’s prime minister. On December 31, 1999, Yeltsin announced a surprise resignation and named Putin as the acting president.
Putin was first elected as the Russian president in 2000.
In the Russian elections in 2000, Putin was elected as the president with 53 percent of the votes. He also won the 2004 election. The Russian constitution didn't allow him to run for a third consecutive term. Putin backed long-time ally Dmitry Medvedev for the president in the 2008 elections, Medvedev secured a landslide victory with over 70 percent of the votes.
Putin won his last election in 2018.
Putin then became the prime minister, which was allowed by the constitution. Soon, Medvedev extended the term of the president from four to six years. Putin won the two presidential elections after that with the most recent victory coming in 2018 where he secured almost 77 percent of the votes. He won the 2012 elections with about 64 percent of the votes.
Putin is up for reelection in 2024.
Putin will be up for reelection in 2024. In 2020, Russia amended its constitution, which allows Putin to seek two more terms. The amended constitution effectively allows him to be the country’s president until 2036.
Will Putin run again in 2024?
Putin hasn’t given any firm signs on whether he intends to run again in 2024. But if he is medically fit, he's widely expected to run again. After his 2018 election, while responding to a question on whether he would run in 2024, Putin had said, "What you are saying is a bit funny. Do you think that I will stay here until I'm 100 years old? No!"
However, two years later he amended the constitution to seek two more terms for himself. In order to bring a resemblance to legitimacy to his extended rule, he even went for a referendum, where Russians backed the changes.
U.S. presidential elections are also due in 2024.
Incidentally, U.S. presidential elections are also scheduled for 2024. Both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have dropped hints that they might run again in 2024, despite their age.
Would Putin win again in the Russian elections?
The West has slammed the Russian democratic process as a sham. In its 2021 report, Freedom House concluded that Russia is “Not Free” and gave the country a Democracy Percentage of 7 out of 100.
It said, “Power in Russia’s authoritarian political system is concentrated in the hands of President Vladimir Putin. With loyalist security forces, a subservient judiciary, a controlled media environment, and a legislature consisting of a ruling party and pliable opposition factions, the Kremlin is able to manipulate elections and suppress genuine dissent.”
Given the political system in Russia, Putin might win in 2024, if he runs again. While there's opposition towards Putin in Russia, many Russians, whose percentage is hugely debatable, like Putin.