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Everything you need to know about presidential election in Russia

TASS provides major statistics on the Russian presidential election campaigns

TASS-FACTBOX. On December 27, 2017, Russia’s Central Election Commission will start the registration of candidates for the 2018 presidential election, which will last until 18:00 on January 31, 2018. 

Term in office

The position of president was established in Russia in 1991. Since then, presidential elections have been held six times: in 1991, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012. Only once, in 1996, it took two rounds to determine the winner. In 1991, the country’s president was elected for five years.

In 1993, a new Constitution was adopted, which reduced the presidential term to four years (the new rules were for the first time applied to the presidential election in 1996).

Constitutional amendments which came into force on December 31, 2008, stipulated that the presidential term in office would be six years starting from 2012.

Number of voters and turnout

As many as 109,860,331 voters were included in the electoral roll in 2012, which is the largest number so far, while the smallest number of voters - 196,484,518 - was recorded in 1991.

The highest voter turnout was witnessed in the first Russian presidential election held on June 12, 1991, when a total of 79,498,240 people, or 74.66% of citizens who had the right to vote, participated in the election. The lowest turnout was recorded in the 2004 election, when only 69,572,177 people (64.38%) participated in the vote.

Number of candidates

Since 1991, a total of 29 candidates have run in the Russian presidential elections. A record has been set by leader of the Liberal-Democratic Party (LDPR) Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who has already sought presidency five times (in 1991, 1996, 2000, 2008 and 2012). Head of the Russian Communist Party Gennady Zyuganov ran for president four times (in 1996, 2000, 2008 and 2012), while the incumbent head of state Vladimir Putin has stood in the election three times (in 2000, 2004 and 2012).

The largest number of candidates were registered for the early election in 2000, while the smallest number - four - were put on the ballot in 2012.

Female candidates

Since 1991, only two women have run for Russian president. In 2000, President of the Bureau of the All-Russia Public Movement ‘For Civic Honor’ Ella Pamfilova (who now heads the Central Election Commission) garnered 1.01% of the vote, coming in fifth among 11 candidates. In 2004, co-chairperson of the Union of Right Forces party Irina Khakamada received 3.84% of the vote, taking fifth place out of six.

Age of candidates

Leader of Russia’s Democratic Party Andrei Bogdanov is the youngest presidential candidate so far, he was 38 years and one month old at the time of the 2008 vote. Ophthalmologist surgeon and State Duma (lower house of parliament) member Svyatoslav Fyodorov, who ran in the 1996 election, remains the oldest presidential candidate, as he was 68 years and ten month old.

Vote numbers

In absolute terms, First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev received the most votes in 2008 (52,530,712 votes or 70.28% of the vote). In the 1996 election runoff, then-President Boris Yeltsin showed the lowest score, gaining 26,665,495 votes or 40.31% of the vote.

The largest gap between the top vote-getter and the second place winner was recorded in 2004 (40,043,774 votes or 57.62% of the vote). Then-President Vladimir Putin got 49,558,328 votes (71.31%), while his closest challenger, Communist Party’s candidate Nikolai Kharitonov garnered 9,514,554 votes (13.69%). In the first round of the 1996 election, the gap between candidates who came in first and second was the smallest - 2,453,809 votes (3.25%), when as many as 26,665,495 voters (35.28%) supported Boris Yeltsin and 24,211,686 people (32.03%) voted for Communist Party’s candidate Gennady Zyuganov.


The 2012 presidential election proved to be the most costly so far, as 10.36 bln rubles ($354 mln according to the exchange rate set by Russia’s Central Bank on the day of the vote) were allocated for the campaign from the federal budget. The least expenditures were recorded in 2000, when the federal budget spent 1.42 bln rubles ($50 mln) on the election.