Russia's presidential election on March 18

Russia's presidential election on March 18

Russia's presidential election will take place on March 18, 2018, following a vote in the upper chamber of the country's parliament.

Though Friday's vote from the Federation Council is largely a formality, it formally kick-starts the campaign.

President Vladimir Putin last week ended weeks of speculation, saying he will run for the fourth term.

Putin's 80% approval ratings make his victory all but certain.

His most visible adversary, anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny, has declared his intention to run but a criminal conviction bars his from running for president.

Navalny has been convicted on two separate sets of charges largely viewed as politically motivated.

Despite the implicit ban he has mounted a grassroots campaign which reached the most remote corners of Russia.  

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