Russian public support for re-electing Putin rises to four-year high

Russian public support for re-electing President Vladimir Putin has soared to a four-year high of 74 per cent, a state pollster said Thursday.

"Even among those who think the president has not fulfilled many of his pre-election promises, about 70 per cent are prepared to vote for Putin" in the next presidential election in 2018, the Russian Public Opinion Research Centre said on its website.

Putin, who is currently serving his third term as president, has domestically benefited from military conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, shoring up public support as he brings Russia to the fore of global affairs.

Ahead of the last presidential election in 2012, about 40 per cent of respondents told the state pollster that they would vote for Putin. Putin went on to win more than 60 per cent of the votes in that election, according to the official tally.

Last year, Putin's job approval rating among the Russian populace reached an all-time high of 89 per cent, according to the independent pollster Levada Centre.

Russians will vote in elections for members of the federal parliament in September. The presidential election would also have taken place this year if in 2008 then-President Dmitry Medvedev had not signed a law to extend the presidential term to six years.

On Thursday, the Kremlin revealed the ouster of the longtime head of the Central Election Commission, which is responsible for monitoring federal and local elections in Russia.

Vladimir Churov, who had headed the commission since 2007, gained notoriety in 2011 for refusing to investigate widespread allegations of fraud in parliamentary elections, inciting protests around the country.

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 14:20

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