NewsGlobal leaders slam Putin's re-election amid protests and criticism

Global leaders slam Putin's re‑election amid protests and criticism

Vladimir Putin was elected as the president of Russia.
Vladimir Putin was elected as the president of Russia.
Images source: © East News | SERGEI BOBYLYOV

6:36 AM EDT, March 18, 2024

Comments continue to flood in following the recent presidential election in Russia. Despite the outcome being widely anticipated, global leaders have not hesitated to voice their strong criticisms of the Kremlin.
The presidential election, which spanned three days, concluded on Sunday. The Central Electoral Commission reported a notable turnout of 73 percent, with Vladimir Putin securing 87.97 percent of the votes.
The re-election of Putin as leader for the fifth time, amid heightened emotions and widespread protests, came as no surprise. Across various polling stations, opponents of the Kremlin engaged in acts of defiance, including destroying ballots and vandalizing ballot boxes with paint. There were also instances of Molotov cocktails being used.

Charles Michel, President of the European Council, took to X (formerly known as Twitter) on the first day of the election to congratulate Putin on a “crushing victory,” critically remarking, “Without opposition. Without freedom. Without choice.”

The German Foreign Office released a statement after the election results were made public, stating, “The sham elections in Russia are neither free nor fair, and their outcome is unsurprising. Putin's regime is authoritarian, characterized by censorship, repression, and violence. The ‘elections’ held in the occupied territories of Ukraine are illegitimate and represent a further violation of international law.”
British Foreign Secretary David Cameron commented on the election process in Russia, highlighting the closure of polling stations due to the illegal conduct of elections in Ukrainian territory, voters' lack of choice, and the absence of independent OSCE monitoring. “This is not the hallmark of free and fair elections,” he assessed.
A statement from the Polish Foreign Ministry echoed similar sentiments, underscoring that the presidential elections in Russia were neither legal, democratic, nor fair.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky remarked on the election results, emphasizing, “Putin will do everything to rule forever.” He added that Putin most “fears justice” and insisted that “just punishment must follow for everything that Russian murderers have committed in this war and in the name of Putin's lifelong power.”
French President Emmanuel Macron, who had received congratulations from Putin after his own re-election in April 2022, informed national media that he would not extend the same courtesy. "You cannot congratulate elections surrounded by the deaths of those who fought for pluralism in Russia," he stated.
*Source: LeParisien, X, WP News*
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