Chechen leader proposes ‘scrapping’ Russian presidential elections
The head of Russia’s Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, has proposed that Russia skip next year’s presidential elections, citing the ongoing conflict with Ukraine.
Kadyrov made the remarks on Saturday in Chechnya’s capital Grozny during a public event to celebrate the birthday of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The celebratory rally attracted around 25,000 people, according to local authorities.
“I propose now, when there is the special military operation [in Ukraine], to unanimously decide that we will have only one candidate in the elections – Vladimir Putin. Or temporarily cancel the elections, because we don’t have another person who is able to defend our country today,” Kadyrov stated.
Thus far, Russia’s top leadership has not commented on the proposal floated by the Chechen leader. The initiative met a reserved reaction in Russia’s legislature, deputy head of the State Duma’s international affairs committee Aleksey Chepa suggesting it was not a very appropriate idea.
“I believe that the elections should not be postponed. I understand Kadyrov’s position. I think that it is important for the president today to understand how many people support him. It will be proper to hold competitive elections – with multiple candidates, it will not give our enemies an opportunity to contest the outcome,” Chepa stated, after outlet News.ru sought a comment.