World Focus

In Russia, an election like no other

With Putin's win a given, what matters is only the share of the vote in his favour and the turnout rate

Joseph Stalin, the old Soviet ruler, is reputed to have once remarked jokingly that "it does not matter how the people vote; it only matters who counts their votes".

The people of Russia going to the voting booths in less than a week's time to elect their president are no longer likely to be treated in such a dismissive manner; nobody will be watching over their shoulders, and their ballots will - on the whole - be properly counted.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 13, 2018, with the headline 'An election like no other'. Subscribe