MOSCOW, March 18. /TASS/. All Russian regions except for Kaliningrad, Russia’s westernmost region, started voting in the presidential election on Sunday.
Ballot stations opened earlier than scheduled in many regions to enable those citizens who work on Sunday to vote.
Citizens of the Crimean Peninsula are taking part in the Russian presidential election for the first time. The polling station at the new terminal of the Simferopol airport has the record high territory of 78,000 square meters.
In the Russian Far East, which was the first to cast its votes, the 100% voter turnout has been registered in some ballot stations.
Eight candidates are running for the highest office in the Russian Federation.
Among them are: incumbent President Vladimir Putin; Pavel Grudinin, director of the Lenin State Farm (nominated by the Communist Party of Russia); TV personality and socialite Ksenia Sobchak (nominated by Civil Initiative); Sergey Baburin, head of the Russian People’s Union party; Maxim Suraikin, chairman of the Central Committee of the Communists of Russia party; Boris Titov, chairman of the Party of Growth and Russian Presidential Envoy for Entrepreneurs’ Rights; Grigory Yavlinsky, head of the Yabloko Party’s federal political committee; Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR).
The candidate to occupy the nation’s highest post - the Russian presidency - is elected according to direct suffrage, which was introduced based on the results of a referendum on March 17, 1991. Any citizen not younger than 35, and who has been permanently residing in Russia for at least 10 years, is eligible to run for office of President of Russia.