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ALACO DISPATCHES: Why Russia’s elections may derail Putin’s biggest critic

Question: Are Sobchak and Navalny the only opposing Putin in the election? And how large is the popular support for these candidates (estimated)?

Answers: Thank you for your question. Up to now Alexei Navalny and Xenia Sobchak are the only ones to announce the intention to run for president in 2018. Their poll numbers are negligible at 1-2% and they both are still to comply with the red tape required to register a candidate. Navalny also has a criminal conviction in the Kirovles corruption case that might deter him from the race.  On November 20 Interfax reported that veteran ultranationalist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) will be running for president for the sixth time. The leader of the Communist Party of Russia (KPRF) Gennady Zyuganov was also planning to run, according to unconfirmed reports. Their poll numbers are at about 3%. It must be noted that Vladimir Putin, whose approval ratings have been record-high at over 80%, has yet to announce that he will be running for president in 2018, whether as a candidate of the ruling United Russia party, as an independent candidate, or in some other quality. In the highly likely outcome of Vladimir Putin running for president, the greatest other threat to his re-election is perhaps public apathy or indecisiveness, with recent polls showing that over 40% of Russian don’t know who to vote for, or whether they would vote at all. Best, bne IntelliNews team

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