NEWSWATCH: “Russia: The Kremlin Moves to Keep Putin in Power” – Stratfor

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

“The #Kremlin is taking steps to ensure … #Putin’s continued control of #Russia. Of the measures it is considering, a plan to hold local referendums ahead of and alongside the 2018 presidential election is perhaps the most important. … to encourage voters to come out and support the government at the polls and … legitimize Russia’s political system. … Putin isn’t concerned about being re-elected …. There are simply no strong candidates to stand against him. Though the popularity of the Communist Party and the anti-Kremlin opposition led by Alexei Navalny has surged, the former has no candidate …  [and t]he Kremlin … barred Navalny from running after he was convicted … on corruption charges. Putin is worried, however, that low voter turnout might undermine his legitimacy …. In the country’s September 2016 parliamentary elections, independent observers estimated that only 31 percent of voters showed up ….”

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