Jef Bossuyt

Russia

Why Putin falsified the Presidential elections


Shameless falsifications but despite that a high score for the Communist Party of Zyuganov are the brandmarks of these elections.

2 March 2008

Official results

Count by Zyuganov

Medvedev, named by Putin as his successor

70,21 %

63,3 %

Zyuganov, Communist Party of the Russian Federation

17,78 %

22,1 %

Zhirinovsky, Liberal Democratic Party of Russia

9,38 %

11,8 %

Bogdanov, Democratic Party of Russia

1,29 %

1,6 %


Pro-American candidates chess champion Kasparov and ex prime minister Kasyanov were not allowed to take part in the elections. But they are not popular in Russia themselves and do not have many supporters or a party machine. After the war in Iraq and the "independence" of Kosovo the US are highly unpopular in the Russian public opinion. Kasparov or Kasyanov wouldn't have done much better than Bogdanov, the pro- EU candidate.

Thanks to the high petrol prices Putin has enough money to buy out the political elite and to raise the pensions with a couple of hundreds roubles.Western observers admit that he didn't really have to falsify the elections in order to win. But still, he manipulated the elections very openly. Firstly, his protege Medvedev was every day on TV screens, but didn't take part in any debates. The foreign observers were curtailed and in the polling stations the representatives of Zyuganov came to very different conclusions. But why the falsifications, then?

 

Opinion of Oleg Shenin

The Chairman of the Communist party of Soviet Union, Oleg Shenin, was refused the opportunity to put himself forward as candidate for the presidential elections. The way how it was done, was typical.

"I was told that I so-called didn't add the letter from my employer to my candidate documents. What an idiotic excuse! Everybody can see in my documents that I was born in 1937 and thus am already for quite some time a pensioner. The Russian president Putin was recently allowed to take part in parliamentary elections and even to head one of the electoral lists. Even the observers from the European Parliamentary Assembly have never heard of such thing. Even the Papua's do not have such practices of dictatorial pressure. The question that arises is what is that "Central Electoral Commission" then? According the Constitution the people are the only and the highest source of power. Such "Ministry of elections" with its colossal powers of punishment you can't find in any civilized country. The "Central Electoral Commission" was created by Yeltsin on the 29.09.1993 when he was already put out of his presidential power. And 5 days later he ordered the shooting of the Parliament and murdered the defenders of the constitution."

 

Opinion of Gennadi Zyuganov

The Communist party of the Russian Federation of G. Zyuganov has received double the amount of the votes that the Liberal Democrats have received. Obviously the voters like communism much more than the nationalistic rhetoric's of Zhirinovsky. Zyuganov sees the following as reason for his success: "The Communist party is a real alternative to the social economic policies of Putin and Medvedev. We were the most democratic, honest, patriotic and energetic. 24 organizations have joined forces around our party: trade unions, patriotic, women- and youth organizations. We have spread our program in 200 million exemplars. In 12 editions of Pravda, in Sovietskaya Rossia and in the independent media. The people were very interested in the electoral campaign. Even the refusal of Medvedev to take part in the debates could not make it less. Our parliament members and local activists have organized meetings in all regions. In Vladivostok we reached 23% by doing this work, and in Briansk more than 30%. The country is turning to the left. The voters do not support liberal policies en masse anymore. Unfortunately, those in power have falsified the results shamelessly and didn't allow honest and democratic elections to take place. In some places they gave us as a result 3% where we in fact had 25-30%."

 

Opinion of Victor Tyulkin

The Russian Communist Workers Party is for a very different approach toward the elections.

"Medvedev would have won even without taking part at all. Everything went as it was planned. Zyuganov has lost with dignity. Zhirinovsky and Bogdanov have shown up. The Russian bourgeoisie has enormous power and the resources in order to shape the public opinion and those who disagree with it will be crushed. The main task of the regime during these elections was to nail the oppositions within the frame of the electoral rules that are created by the same regime. The CPRF (of Zyuganov) is not allowed to get out of its given role of a loser in this performance. In his first victory speech Medvedev also has thanked them for doing that. The leader of the CPRF Zyuganov has lead his campaign under the motto "if I was the president, then I would..." instead of organizing the working people for the struggle during his campaign. The people didn't really believe that he would be allowed (to win). When communists take part in the elections their primary goal should be not the number of votes received, but to convince that minority, to unite them and to enlarge their ranks so that they would be able to pull the massa's with them. Zyuganov didn't say a word about the strikes of the harbour workers in Petersburg or Ford workers of Vsevolzhye. His campaign didn't serve for the development of the struggle, but just for reminding the people that he is Number One of the opposition. And the results are bad for the workers: Zyuganov and Zhirinovsky have helped the reactionary forces by giving them the over of "lawful and democratic elections". We'll go another way".


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