Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is officially in charge of Russia’s federal election, marking a dramatic shift in the country’s political landscape in a year in which Putin has emerged as a major figure.
The announcement was made by Putin in a televised address on Friday, marking the official inauguration of his three-year term, the state-run Rossiya-24 news agency reported.
The new leader of Russia, a man with an image that has often been likened to the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, will assume power when Russia goes to the polls on May 9.
The first round of voting will be held on May 11, but there is still uncertainty as to how the vote will be conducted.
The presidential election, traditionally held every five years, was held in a closed, unofficial format.
That means no candidates can run for office.
The election will be one of the closest in Russian history and is expected to be extremely close.
The outcome will be determined by a series of polls, which will likely be contested, with candidates seeking to win as many as 60% of the vote.