2018 elections: will the Crimea to re-elect Vladimir Putin?

The Russian state Duma adopted in the first reading amendments to the law “On presidential elections”. In 2018, the date of the vote are planning to move for a week to coincide with the anniversary of the annexation of Crimea. In addition, the amendments abolish absentee ballots, that is, the Russians will be able to vote at any polling station, after which, thanks to the electronic registry of the CEC, again to give the vote will fail. However, Russian opposition leaders believe that the manipulation of the registry will allow the authorities to correct the results.

About the features of the future presidential elections in Russia and the role of Crimea in the new political environment on Radio Crimea.Discuss the realities of Russian political analyst Ivan Preobrazhensky and Russian journalist Andrei Arkhangelsky.

“The Crimea. Realities”: How you look at the abolition of absentee ballots, Ivan?

Ivan Preobrazhenskiy: I don’t think it will fundamentally change the picture of the elections, although, of course, opens new opportunities for fraud. Often recorded violations when the same absentee ballot voted several times on different sites. This system is entirely satisfied with Russian governors who used this way to show the Kremlin its efficiency: here, they say how many people they can expose for the right candidate due to the “carousel.”

— What, in your opinion, I’m afraid in the Kremlin, once pushed for such reform, Andrew?

Andrey Arkhangelsky: In the pre-election actions of the Russian authorities felt insecure, although the formal reasons for her not. However, many political analysts say that the so-called “postkrymsky consensus” collapsed. It showed the same anti-corruption rally on March 26, which, although was small, but given the Kremlin to understand what really interested in the citizens — internal politics, not external. Now the Deputy head of the presidential Administration Sergey Kirienko, obviously searching for the “new majority” after the Crimea.

But the elections do want to move on the 18th of March is a symbolic date, because of the annexation of Crimea. Why, if the consensus is no more?

Ivan Preobrazhenskiy: I don’t think postkrymsky most collapsed — it just shifted and decreased, but it is still about half the population. The administration is trying to maximize turnout and election legitimacy, so symbolic date 18 Mar certainly better than neutral. Let it not interested in the young people who came out to protest, but for the older people of the Crimea still has value and is associated with Vladimir Putin.

— If he can be effective competition Alexei Navalny?

Andrey Arkhangelsky: When the political field is cleared, to talk about the opponents of the incumbent President, of course, meaningless. Alexei Navalny is far from to be associated with an alternative to Vladimir Putin, but he’s still the only one who can come close to such status. Today it is the main opposition only to users of social networks and for the world of TV it is almost a foreign spy. What the outcome of the collision of two different worlds? That’s the main intrigue of the elections.

Ivan Preobrazhenskiy: In my experience, it’s true: for young people there is neither Yavlinsky nor the leaders of the so-called “parliamentary opposition”. The issue of “Putin and Navalny?” is quite relevant for a new generation.

— What kind of agenda will be able to represent the Kremlin in 2018?

Andrey Arkhangelsky: that is a mystery. Apparently, in the President’s Administration now decide what to do: to tighten the screws, or to allow some liberalization, or to update the internal politics at the expense of the external. The only thing that came up in the Kremlin, is to tie the election to the anniversary of the annexation of the Crimea, hoping that she again forced the Russians to mobilize.