The Kremlin is trying to stop any under-50s running against Putin for president to avoid drawing attention to his age, report says

The Kremlin is trying to stop any under-50s running against Putin for president to avoid drawing attention to his age, report says
  • Russia is due to have a presidential election in 2024, with Vladimir Putin the obvious favorite.

  • But Kremlin insiders are still worried about the campaign, per the Russian outlet Meduza.

  • It cited two sources describing efforts to block young candidates who might make Putin seem old.

Kremlin officials want to exclude politicians under age 50 from campaigning against Russian President Vladimir to, according to a Russian media report.

The claim was made by the independent outlet Meduza, which cited two unnamed Kremlin insiders discussing the Russian presidential elections next year.

Their aim, per the report, was to prevent a contest where Putin would appear old compared to the competition.

Formally, the Kremlin has no power to determine who runs in the presidential race. In practice, it has been accused of widespread manipulation, both of election results themselves, and the political process more broadly.

Two unnamed Kremlin insiders told Meduza that they didn't think a younger candidate win, but feared it would be unflattering for Putin, who is 70.

Age was ranked as the third most common answer in a poll by the research firm Russian Field in May 2023 when respondents were asked what they disliked about the current president.

Putin is likely to face against candidates from the far-right Liberal-Democratic Party, the Communist Party, and the center-left New People Party.

Meduza's sources said that the New People Party could present a problem, citing Vladislav Davankov, 39, as an unwelcome potential opponent for Putin.

It cited one source saying: "He wouldn't garner a big percentage, of course, but an energetic young candidate might make the voters think about the president's age."

Instead, the article said the Kremlin was pushing for a different candidate, who is 57: Alexey Nechayev, the party's leader.

Russian presidents are supposed to only rule for no more than two consecutive terms, each of six years.

Putin has already been president continuously since 2012, which ought to make 2024 the end of his run (he was also president from 2000 to 2008).

However, though the term limit remains, Putin signed a law in 2021 that reset the count. The move allowed him a further two terms, which would last him until 2036.

Next year's presidential elections are set to be held on March 17. If no candidate gains an outright majority of 50%, a second round of voting is due three weeks later, on April 7, 2024.

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