Four new regions of Russia will hold presidential elections

Russia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) has decided to hold presidential elections on the territories of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, after consultations with the Defence Ministry, the Russian Federal Security Service and the heads of the four new regions.

Consultations on holding presidential elections in new Russian regions were attended by CEC deputy chairman and secretary Nikolay Bulayev and Natalia Budarina, representatives of the Defence Ministry and the FSB, as well as the leaders of the DNR, LNR, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. Martial law has been in force in these territories since October 2022.

All parties to the consultations considered it possible to hold elections. Following the results of the extraordinary meeting, which was held, 11 December, the CEC approved the elections.

“Adopted unanimously,” – presented the decision of the commission its deputy chairman Nikolay Bulayev.

Russian presidential elections will be held from 15 to 17 March 2024. In mid-November, President Vladimir Putin approved amendments to the law on the election of the head of state. According to them, elections in the territories where martial law is in force can be held, the CEC has the right to establish in such territories “peculiarities of preparation and holding of elections”.

On 30 September, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed agreements on the accession of Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions to the Russian Federation. The signing ceremony took place in the Kremlin. According to the documents, the DNR and LNR within Russia retained the status of republics and their former names. Zaporozhye and Kherson regions joined the Russian Federation as separate subjects – oblasts. Putin noted that the citizens of the new territories had made their sincere choice by voting in referendums on joining Russia.