FACTBOX: Key facts, figures about Russian presidential elections

MOSCOW: On March 17, 2024, Russia will hold an election of the head of state. The voting will last three days - March 15, 16 and 17. The TAS...

MOSCOW: On March 17, 2024, Russia will hold an election of the head of state. The voting will last three days - March 15, 16 and 17. The TASS FACTBOX editors have assembled key facts and figures about Russia’s presidential elections.

Elections, presidential term

In 1991, Russia created a new executive office, the presidency. Since then, presidential elections have been held seven times: in 1991, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2018. On one occasion — in 1996 — a runoff election was required to determine the winner.

In 1991, the president was elected to a five-year term. In 1993, following the adoption of the Constitution, the term of office of the head of state was reduced to four years; the new rules were applied starting from the 1996 election. Under subsequent amendments to the Constitution, which took effect on December 31, 2008, since 2012 the president is elected to a six-year term.

Voting eligibility, turnout

The largest number of Russian citizens — 109,860,331 — were registered as eligible voters for the 2012 election, while the smallest number — 106,484,518 — were registered as voters for the first election in 1991.

The highest turnout was recorded in the first Russian presidential election on June 12, 1991, when 79,498,240 Russians, or 74.66% of the total number of citizens eligible to vote, cast their ballots. The lowest voter turnout — 69,572,177 (64.38%) — was recorded in 2004.

Number of candidates

Overall, a total of 34 candidates have participated in Russia’s presidential elections since 1991. The record belongs to the late Vladimir Zhirinovsky, founder and veteran leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), who ran for Russia’s highest public office six separate times: in 1991, 1996, 2000, 2008, 2012 and 2018. Gennady Zyuganov, veteran leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF), and incumbent President Vladimir Putin have run four times each, with Zyuganov running in 1996, 2000, 2008 and 2012, and Putin running in 2000, 2004, 2012 and 2018.

The largest number of candidates listed on the ballot in a single presidential election was 11, registered in the 2000 early election, while the lowest number was four, recorded in 2008.

Female candidates

Three women have run for president in Russia.

In 2000, Ella Pamfilova, then-chairperson of the Presidium of the all-Russia Public Association "For Civil Dignity" (currently serving as chairwoman of Russia’s Central Election Commission, or CEC) ran for the highest office, garnering 1.01% of the vote and placing fifth among 11 candidates. In 2004, the CEC registered Irina Khakamada, a former co-chair of the Union of Right Forces party, as a candidate; she received 3.84% of the vote and placed fifth out of six contestants. In 2018, celebrity TV host Ksenia Sobchak ran for president as the candidate of the Civil Initiative party, garnering 1.68% of the vote and taking fourth place out of eight candidates.

Candidates’ ages

Ksenia Sobchak, who ran in 2018, has to date been the youngest candidate in the history of Russian presidential elections. On voting day in 2018, she was 36 years old. The oldest candidate was Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who during the 2018 election campaign was 71 years old.

Election returns

Among election winners, incumbent President Vladimir Putin received the most votes in absolute terms in 2018 (56,426,399; 76.69%). The lowest result was for incumbent head of state (Boris Yeltsin) was in 1996. Yeltsin then received 26,665,495 votes (35.28%) in the first round.

The largest gap between the winner of the election and the runner-up was recorded in 2018 when the gap was 47,767,667 votes, or 67.66%. Putin, who won the election, received 56,426,399 votes (76.69%), while his nearest rival, agribusiness executive Pavel Grudinin, the CPRF nominee, received 8,658,732 votes (11.77%). In the first round of the 1996 election, the gap between the first-and second-place candidates was the narrowest at 2,453,809 votes (3.25%). Then-incumbent President Boris Yeltsin was supported by 26,665,495 voters (35.28%), while CPRF candidate Gennady Zyuganov gained the support of 24,211,686 voters (32.03%).

Election funding

The 2018 presidential election was the most expensive in absolute figures: the federal budget allocated 14.259 bln rubles ($248 mln at the official Bank of Russia exchange rate on election day). However, in US dollar terms, the 2012 election was the costliest with a price tag of $354 mln (at the official exchange rate on election day), or 10.375 bln rubles. The lowest cost was recorded in 2000, when federal budget expenditures for holding the presidential election came to 1.420 bln rubles ($50 mln).

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Local Glob: FACTBOX: Key facts, figures about Russian presidential elections
FACTBOX: Key facts, figures about Russian presidential elections
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