Presidential candidate and Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov said on Sunday he was voting for an “educated and prosperous” Russia as he cast his ballot in the presidential elections.
“I personally voted for a Russia that is educated, healthy, intelligent and prosperous. I want Russian citizens to feel they are people and not serfs. I am confident that a good future lies ahead of Russia,” Zyuganov said after he voted at a polling station in Moscow.
Zyuganov said, however, that the Communists had started to register some election violations already.
He also said a higher turnout at the elections would ensure stricter control over the results, which would increase the probability of a second round vote.
Last December’s parliamentary elections in Russia triggered mass protests over alleged vote fraud in favor of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s ruling United Russia party.
The Communist leader said street protests would be held on Monday after the presidential elections.
“There will be a lot of street actions and requests to hold rallies have already been submitted, but I am calling on everyone to show restraint and comply with the law,” he said.
Russians are voting on Sunday to elect a president for the fifth time in the nation’s post-Soviet history. Putin faces four opponents, none of which, analysts say, is likely to prove a serious threat to his bid to return to the Kremlin after a four-year stint as prime minister.
Putin was president from 2000 to 2008 but was forced to stand down by the Constitution, which limits the presidency to two “consecutive” terms.
Some 110 million Russian citizens, including 2 million expatriates around the world, are eligible to vote in the presidential election. The winner will serve a six-year presidential term and not four as was previously the case.