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United Russia Party Unanimously Backs Putin for 2024 Presidential Election

By Vusala Abbasova December 18, 2023

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Putin was officially nominated as an independent candidate on Saturday by a group of at least 500 supporters, consisting of prominent actors, singers, athletes, and other public figures as well as top officials from the United Russia party. / Mikhail Klimentyev / AP

United Russia, the country’s ruling political party, unanimously backed President Vladimir Putin’s candidacy ahead of the March 2024 presidential poll.

The announcement came on Sunday during a speech by Dmitry Medvedev, the chairman of United Russia and a former Russian president and prime minister.

Addressing the 21st congress of the United Russia political party, Medvedev called on fellow party members to “mobilize all activists and supporters” in support of Putin before the vote.

“We do not have the slightest doubt about who should lead the Russian state in these tremendously complicated times — someone who embodies historical truth and justice and has the support of the majority,” Medvedev said.

Putin was officially nominated as an independent candidate on Saturday by a group of at least 500 supporters, consisting of prominent actors, singers, athletes, and other public figures as well as top officials from the United Russia party. Under the Russian election legislation, independent candidates need to gather at least 300,000 signatures from supporters in 40 or more Russian regions.

During the congress, President Putin addressed issues of sovereignty and alleged Western attempts to "sow confusion" in Russia. He emphasized the importance of Russia being a sovereign and self-sufficient power.

“Russia will either be a sovereign, self-sufficient power, or it will not exist at all,” said the president. “This is a very important matter, which should always be on our minds and in our hearts. So, of course, we ourselves will determine and create our own future.”

Putin accused the West of initiating aggression against Russia, aiming to destabilize not only the economy and social sector but also the political and state system. He claimed that the methods employed by the West were well known and had been tested in various regions during the so-called color revolutions.

The Russian constitution was amended in 2020, extending the presidential term from four to six years and nullifying Putin's prior mandates, which allowed him to compete for office again the following year.

Putin declared he would run for the presidency again in 2024 in the wake of a Kremlin ceremony to bestow the title of Hero of Russia held on December 8. His comments came in response to an impassioned plea from Artyom Zhoga, a former military commander who fought in Ukraine’s Donbas region and is now speaker of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic parliament.

Presidential elections in Russia are scheduled for March 15-17. For the first time, Russian presidential elections will be held in the parts of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson regions of Ukraine annexed by Russia.

So far, two people have announced plans to run: former lawmaker Boris Nadezhdin, who holds a seat on a municipal council in the Moscow region, and Yekaterina Duntsova, a journalist and lawyer from the Tver region north of Moscow, who was once a member of a local legislature.