First round victory for Putin, but questions remain

East Capital’s Marcus Svedberg comments on yesterday’s win by Vladimir Putin in Russia’s presidential election.

With 63% of the vote, Prime Minister Putin wins comfortably and extends his control over Russia for another six years.

“The focus is quickly turning to the post-election demonstrations , following the presidential election in Russia on Sunday,” says Marcus Svedberg, chief economist at East Capital.

The question was not who would win, but how many rounds it would take. The presidential election in Russia gave Prime Minister Putin almost 64% of the vote and victory in the first round, enabling him to return to the presidency in May.

Communist leader, Gennady Zyuganov, came second with 17% of the votes, while nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky and oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov gained 7% each and Just Russia leader, Sergei Mironov, received 4%.

“These results did not surprise us as they are consistent with polls from independent agencies prior to the election. The vote may nevertheless not be regarded as legitimate because of reports of vote rigging,” says Marcus Svedberg.

Many reports alleged that people had been bussed to multiple polling stations in a practice known as “carousel voting” – echoing similar accusations from the parliamentary elections in December that sparked widespread fraud allegations and street protests.

A large pro-Putin demonstration took place in Moscow on Sunday night and several opposition demonstrations are now scheduled for Monday.

“All these demonstrations will be watched closely, both in terms of turnout, but also how they are conducted and what the response will be from the authorities.”

“The focus should, however, gradually shift to the composition of Putin’s team and to policy,” Marcus concludes.

Putin will be inaugurated as the new president in May and will serve for six years, not four as previously.

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