The last term of Putin
Preparations for the presidential elections of 2018 is underway in the Kremlin with the expectation that they will participate Vladimir Putin, said two Federal officials . “I have no doubt that he will participate,” — said one of the interlocutors .
“All proceed from the fact that the chief [Putin] will go to the polls. And everyone understands that this will be his last term. To change anything to remain after 2024 (the end of the next term), he will not,” said another Federal official in a conversation with .
At a meeting in the Kremlin the first Deputy head of the Kremlin administration Sergei Kiriyenko spoke in the spirit that it’s not just Putin’s election, and what will happen after the election. Namely, the formation of the agenda of its next period, recounts the meaning of what was said Kiriyenko, one of the participants of the meeting. According to him, the Kremlin official hinted that the agenda of a new President term is not less important than technology to get the desired result. “From Kiriyenko was clear that we are talking about the last time Putin,” concludes the source .
The Constitution of Russia forbids to hold a post of the President more than two consecutive terms. If Putin re-elect in 2018, according to the Basic law the next time he will be able to participate in the elections only six years after the end of his term in 2030.
Now at meetings with the participation of members of the political block of the Kremlin and experts discussed several options of successful elections, said a source in the presidential administration confirmed a source close to the Kremlin. According to them, it is that elections should be held legitimate, and Putin needs to get more votes than during the previous campaigns, both in percentage terms and in absolute terms.
At least it would be good that the President got a result higher than in the 2012 elections, but ideally, he won more than ever in the elections with his participation, said the Federal official in an interview with . The same applies to the number of votes in absolute terms, he adds.
But “it’s not about the job or about what you have to think” in preparation for the campaign, said the source .
In the 2012 election, Putin received 63.6% of votes. The highest score he had in the 2004 elections is 71.3%. In 2000, voted for Putin, 53% of the population. As for the votes in absolute terms, in 2000, Putin gave preference to 39.7 million people in 2004 49.6 million, in 2012, 45.6 million
In this context, adds a source close to the presidential administration, important indicators of turnout.
At the end of December 2016 at a seminar for Vice-governors on internal politics Kiriyenko discussed with officials how to ensure a turnout of 70% with the same result, the main candidate, said sources .
The problem of increasing turnout cannot be solved due to the appearance on elections of new faces, says the Federal official. From this point of view in the Kremlin do not see the need to artificially attract to participate in the campaigns of new candidates. The increase in turnout due to the “newcomers” is only possible under one condition: the unpredictability of the results of the election, but this speech is not, concludes the source . The administration of the President to look for new candidates to participate in the campaign will not be reported , bet decided to make the old model with the participation of leaders of the Duma parties.
A March in support of Vladimir Putin in Moscow. 2012
Photo: Anton novoderezhkin / TASS
A referendum on confidence
“There is no doubt that he (Putin) elect. On the one hand, this is good news, but why would a man rise from the chair and go vote, if so clear it?” — says a Kremlin source . According to him, “we expect in some way not an election but a referendum of confidence (Putin)”.
Kremlin official and a source close to the presidential administration, say that the meetings with the participation of experts discussed several ways to increase turnout.
It is planned that the Central election Commission (CEC) will be able to configure the system “gas-Elections” so that access to it could receive any of the precinct election Commission. It is necessary, in order to allow voters who plan to vote not in a registration place, not to take absentee ballots, says the source. No need to get an absentee prostimulirujte citizens to come and vote.
The source explained that the data about the citizen, voted at the place of registration will be contained in the system and then fraud with absentee ballots when people vote on multiple sites, will remain in the past.
During the December seminar for Vice-governors on internal politics, says a source close to the Kremlin, “it was discussed that members of precinct election commissions was brought to work not a week before the election and before.” We are talking about the fact that PEC members would go door-to-door inviting people to the polls. “Well, if your teacher will come and personally invite you to vote,” says the source .
Separately discussed the issue of how to encourage the parish to the polls young people, especially those who will vote for the first time, continues a source in the Kremlin. It is necessary, according to him, to endeavour to participate in voting “has become the fashionable, socially acceptable behavior.” This requires appropriate campaign explaining why it is important to go to the polls, he says.
A March in support of Vladimir Putin in Moscow. 2012
Photo: Pawel Kopczynski / Reuters
Plebiscites, camera, and reset the rating
In some regions it is possible to hold referendums on local issues, says a source close to the Kremlin. But it should not be a topic that divides society, such as conflict around St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Russian Orthodox Church, he said. A plebiscite needs to touch the more “peaceful” questions — for example, “do you want to have in your town the circus was built or the school of music”, cites the example of the source .
Referendums on election day — effective way of increasing turnout, said the Federal official. According to him, this tool was used by the state Corporation “Rosatom”, which in its line was responsible for the election campaign in the closed administrative-territorial formations, and the experience was positive.
At the same time, the Kremlin promised to strengthen control over the cleanliness campaign. The number of observers and cameras on the polling stations will be significantly increased, promises a Federal official in an interview with . A source in the Kremlin said that if in a particular region will be committed serious abuses, it will affect the performance of the governors: “All scores will be reset to zero immediately”. To heads of regions this information is to convey, adds the source .
The effectiveness of governors by the Kremlin’s new method, as already mentioned , is based on four indicators: the dynamics of the economic situation, electoral performance, corruption and conflict of elites.
There are two factors that are always working on turnout is the level of elections and properly carried out awareness-raising campaign, says the head close to the Kremlin development Fund civil society (Fargo) Konstantin Kostin. The presidential election is always quite a high turnout. Its range is from 65 to 70%, he said.
The opportunity to hold elections without absentee ballots can raise turnout by 0.5–1%, and good advocacy by 2-3%, he continues. “Under “is good advocacy campaign,” I mean not the density of coverage and targeting,” he says, explaining that, for example, young people are unlikely to be able to attract to the polls at the expense of social advertising by the largest Federal channels. For political communication with young people need to use the media, “she consumes”, said the expert.
High results for Putin is not only important from the point of view of elections, but also from the perspective of the post-election challenges that lie ahead: preparing to transit authorities and changes in the structure of the economy, enumerates Costin. In this context, Putin needs a “not just the legitimacy of a political or military leader”, he needs “the legitimacy of a statesman”, “power of attorney” from citizens, he said.
High score the high turnout is certainly important for Putin in the context of his last presidential term, said political analyst Konstantin Kalachev. “Putin sees himself in history, and from this point of view, probably, it is important to show an upward trend (compared with the results of previous elections). Also need to go on the rise” — the expert believes.
Putin has already written itself in the history of the annexation of Crimea, but this is not enough, especially in conditions when the economic situation develops in a downtrend. “So important and the replacement of the governors to those who can provide lift, and the results of the elections from the point of view of the ability to fit them into the history books,” says Kalachev. The turnout and number of votes for Putin is the integrated result of his work, emphasizes the expert.