Re: Russia's pipeline to Empire
- From: holman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (Eugene Holman)
- Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 18:46:01 +0200
In article <1134749013.294463.211440@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,
"ladzius" <2130-690@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > democratic structures are evolving that will eventually mean
> > more transparency and less corruption in government, this, too, a novelty
> > in Russian history.
> really ? care to give an example ?
The second article in particular indicates that elections are genuinely
being contested and that political activity is monitored by the
authorities, even if one wonders how offensive the ad was that
disqualified Rodina. Additionally, groups with similar but not identical
interests are uniting to form alternatives to United Russia. These are all
positive signs of political evolution and demonstrate how far Russia has
come along the road to democracy during the past fourteen years. Remember,
it took almost 200 years before American democracy had evolved to such a
stage that all adult citizens of good character were allowed to vote.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005. Page 3.
Liberal Leaders Call For United Front
By Maria Danilova
The Associated Press
Liberal politicians and rights activists called on the nation's fragmented
and disorganized pro-democracy groups on Monday to unite to counter what
they described as President Vladimir Putin's increasingly authoritarian
Nikita Belykh, the leader of the liberal Union of Rights Forces party, or
SPS, called for all pro-democracy parties and groups to unite in the next
250 days to prepare for 2007 parliamentary elections
For Liberal Parties, a Win of Sorts in Moscow
Alliance With No Presence in National Legislature Takes Three Seats in
By Peter Finn
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, December 6, 2005; A30
MOSCOW, Dec. 5 -- Russia's moribund Western-oriented liberal movement
registered the political equivalent of a pulse in Sunday's elections for
the Moscow city parliament, in a vote swept by the pro-Kremlin United
Russia party as predicted.
With only the scale of United Russia's victory in doubt, attention here
had focused on whether the liberal Yabloko party, in alliance with other
small parties, could cross the threshold of 10 percent of the vote to
guarantee itself seats in parliament and create a modicum of optimism for
national parliamentary elections in 2007.
Both Yabloko and its major ally, the Union of Right Forces, failed to get
into the national parliament in 2003 elections. In the run-up to Sunday's
vote, political analysts here had predicted the death of this strand of
the Russian opposition if it failed to win seats in the city parliament.
The Union of Right Forces, setting aside past differences with Yabloko,
subsumed itself under the Yabloko banner along with some other small
political groupings. Some figures in the liberal movement would like to
see this alliance go forward to the next national elections.
Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky, speaking on Echo Moskvy radio Monday,
called the election an "important event" but criticized what he called
"unequal and unfair treatment," citing United Russia's dominance of
broadcast media coverage. His party also has charged that United Russia is
able to pressure public employees to vote for it.
"Holding elections in an authoritarian system is a serious thing. Everyone
who wants some kind of result finds himself in a position of having to
plead with the authorities for this or that percentage," said Yavlinsky,
echoing the kind of rhetoric that dominated the party's campaign message.
United Russia's ticket was led by the city's powerful and popular mayor,
Yuri Luzhkov. The party secured 47 percent of the vote, winning all 15
directly elected seats in the 35-seat parliament. In addition, it got 13
seats that are assigned on the basis of each party's overall take of the
vote. The Communist Party came in second with 16.8 percent of the vote and
four seats. Yabloko squeaked over the 10 percent barrier with 11.1
percent, taking three seats.
Turnout was about 33 percent among the city's 7 million registered voters,
election officials said.
Communist Party officials, who had also expressed concern about a decline
in votes in the face of United Russia's strength, pronounced themselves
satisfied with the result. They also began to look forward to 2007.
"We stopped the fall of support for the Communist Party . . . and turned
for the better," Ivan Melnikov, who led the party's list, said on Echo
Moskvy. "Thus we prepared a good platform for strong results to the
The Communists also might have benefited from the absence of another
party, the nationalist grouping Rodina. It was removed from the ballot
because of a political advertisement that the courts said incited ethnic
hatred. Opinion polls had predicted that Rodina would finish second.
"Our victory was stolen from us," party leader Dmitry Rogozin said at a
news conference Monday, promising to continue to build the party as an
alternative to United Russia. "After a court decision, we found ourselves
in a difficult situation, and it is important for us at present to
strengthen our organization, rather than dwell on things past."
United Russia leaders explained their victory as the inevitable result of
effectiveness. "United Russia is the party that gets things done,"
Vyacheslav Volodin, a party leader, said on ORT television. "And we hope
our deputies will justify the trust that voters have shown in them."
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