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

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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 In Russia, an election like no other. Subscribe