Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Putin Decries Western Meddling in Russian Elections

Russian President Vladimir Putin attacked opponents and has accused the West of meddling in Russian politics.

Putin's attack on his opponents came as he seeks to secure a high turnout and strong support for the United Russia (Ednaya Rossiya) party.

Many see this as a way for Putin to retain power after the March 2008 presidential election.
Putin’s statements appeared to refer to opposition rallies planned for the coming weekend in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

He did not name specific nations or political parties, but offered a general criticism of his liberal, pro-business and Communist opponents, calling to mind the economic and political uncertainty that plagued Russia before and after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union as well the revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia that led to the installation of pro-Western regimes.

A clear victory for the United Russia party would give Putin a popular mandate and a loyal parliament to limit his succesor's influence and possibly lay the groundwork for his return to the presidency in 2012 or sooner.

This week’s stadium rally was a mixture of a soccer game and a Soviet-style rally.

Many of Putin’s supporters have demanded constitutional changes that would permit him to stay on as president. He has promised to step down as the constitution currently required, but has also indicated he will seek to retain influence and has not eliminated the possibility of presidential bid in 2012.

No comments: