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COMING UP:Share Opener Variant 1

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Transcript

00:00:00
>>
FOREIGN]
> Polling stations are open in Russia as the country's presidential election gets underway. The big question isn't so much about who will win, but by how much he will win. The vote is expected to give Vladimir Putin his fourth term in power. And the Kremlin wants a big turnout to legitimize the results.
00:00:21
It's pushing for 70% turnout, with 70% of those votes cast for Putin. And it could be on the cards. Real competition is largely absent. The first politician in years to challenge the Kremlin's grip on power, Alexei Navalny, has been barred from running because of a corruption conviction that he says was fabricated by the Kremlin.
00:00:41
>> What is more interesting is what happens after the elections. Will there be protests, or will there not be protests? Mr. Navalny, the opposition leader who is not taking part, has made it clear that he would like to organize post-election protests. But to do that, he needs solid evidence of fraud in these elections, that's something he predicts he will get.
00:01:03
They'll be many observers, independent observers, opposition observers, at polling stations hoping to collect evidence of this fraud. Clearly the process is something that the authorities here do not want, they want these elections to be seen as legitimate and as largely clean as possible, both in the west, and here at home.
00:01:22
>> Of the seven other names on the ballot paper, none appear to pose a threat to Putin. A recent survey gave his nearest rival, Communist Party candidate, Pavel Grudinin, just 7% of the vote. While another candidate, TV presenter, Ksenia Sobchak, polled even lower at 2%. If, or perhaps when Putin wins, his reign will equate to nearly a quarter of a century in power.
00:01:46
A longevity among Kremlin leaders second only to Joseph Stalin.
SOUND]