Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

People on the run

Russia a democracy? Well there are eight people running against President Putin. (But you don't have to know anything about any of them.)

Strawberry tycoon among Putin challengers confirmed
Eight candidates have been officially confirmed to run in Russia's 18 March presidential election.

Vladimir Putin, hoping to win a fourth term, is the clear favourite. Opinion polls give him a lead of more than 60%…

Police have repeatedly arrested opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who wanted to run for president but was barred. For years the anti-corruption campaigner has organised mass protests against Mr Putin.

So who is running against Mr Putin?
  • Pavel Grudinin: Nicknamed the "strawberry candidate", the 57-year-old engineer and farmer is backed by the Russian Communist Party (CPRF).
  • Vladimir Zhirinovsky was an established politician before most Russians had even heard of Vladimir Putin… His Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) - in reality hardline Russian nationalist - was the first registered opposition party in post-Soviet Russia…
  • Ksenia Sobchak: The 36-year-old TV celebrity casts herself as "the candidate against all the above", calling for a democratic renewal of Russia. Ms Sobchak told the BBC she wanted "evolution, not revolution" of the Putin system. She would support reformist politicians who have Mr Putin's approval…
  • Grigory Yavlinsky: He held economic management posts in the USSR, and helped liberalise the Soviet economy under Mikhail Gorbachev. Later he disagreed with the rapid privatisation that created a new class of super-rich oligarchs and deepened the poverty of millions…
  • Boris Titov: Mr Titov casts himself as an economic liberal, and… he was chosen last year as the presidential candidate of the small Party of Growth…
  • Sergei Baburin: This 59-year-old nationalist is deputy speaker of the Duma and the candidate of the Russian All-People's Union… he says, Russia is mired in corruption and injustice…
  • Maxim Suraikin: "Comrade Maxim", 39, is the candidate of Communists of Russia, a party that broke away from the CPRF Communists in 2012…

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