Vladimir Putin Wins Russian Presidential Elections

March 21, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. landslide victory (idiom) – to win by a large number, usually in an election
Example: He had a landslide victory with 85% of the votes.

2. opposition (n.)  – a person or group against whom one competes
Example: We need to defeat the opposition in order to win the game.

3. poll (n.) – an activity in which people make a vote
Example:  People gathered in poll stations to vote.

4. fraudulent (adj.) – not honest or truthful
ExampleFraudulent businesses are punished by the law.

5. protest (n.) – an expression of one’s disagreement or complaint
Example: A public protest started after the price of oil increased.

Read the text below.

Vladimir Putin, Russia’s former Prime Minister, won a landslide victory in the recent presidential elections. But opposition parties say Putin did not win fairly.

According to poll results, Putin received more than 60% of total votes, while his closest rival, Gennady Zyuganov, got 17%. The other 3 presidential candidates, on the other hand, only got one-digit percentages.

Putin’s camp, along with tens of thousands of his supporters, celebrated victory outside the Kremlin earlier this month. In an emotional speech, Putin thanked the crowd and told supporters that this year’s election was clean and honest.

However, opposition parties claim the election was fraudulent. Despite the strict security in poll stations, reports say  Putin’s party used “carousel voting,” wherein  voters were brought by buses to different poll stations and made to vote several times.

The reports have led to mass protests in Moscow. Public anger has also increased due to reports of fraudulent parliament elections in December 2011, in which most winners came from Putin’s political party. Many are also angry at Putin’s long stay in power.

Putin was president of Russia for two terms from 2000 to 2008, and was prime minister from 2008 to 2012. Now, he is preparing to serve as president for the third time. According to Zyuganov, Putin may not be able to rule like before because of the people’s growing distrust.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         What qualities do you look for in a leader?
·         Would you vote for a leader like Putin who has been in his position for a very long time?

Discussion B

·         Is the election system a good way of choosing leaders? Why or why not?
·         What can be done to keep elections fair?


March 21, 2012