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Posts Tagged ‘Russian Elections’

Russia Elections 2012: Vladimir Putin On Course To Win Presidency

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 1, 2012

By Timothy Heritage

MOSCOW, March 1 (Reuters) – Vladimir Putin is all but certain to return to Russia’s presidency with the same swagger, bravado and fighting talk against the West as when he entered the Kremlin 12 years ago.

But the country he will get the chance to lead for another six years after an election on Sunday has changed, and he is on a collision course with Western powers and a newly confident middle class demanding a freer and fairer Russia.

“The way he is conducting the campaign at the moment sends a signal reading ‘I am sure of myself, I am the strongest of them all, I control everything, I am the leader, nothing has changed.’ But this is not true,” said Maria Lipman, a political analyst at the Moscow Carnegie Centre think tank.

A few months ago, the former KGB spy was a safe bet to win two more terms and rule until 2024, keeping him in power almost as long of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

All that changed when he bungled the announcement of his presidential bid on Sept. 24 and allegations of fraud in a parliamentary poll on Dec. 4 soured the mood, triggering the biggest opposition protests since he rose to power.

He may now struggle to see out even one full term.

Writing off the 59-year-old prime minister before he has even returned to the post he held from 2000 until 2008 would be reckless: Putin is a survivor and a pragmatist.

He still tops opinion polls as Russia’s most popular politician, controls most media, has strong ties in business and the security forces, and many Russians credit him with overseeing an economic boom and making the country strong again.

Opinion polls suggest Putin will comfortably pass the 50 percent of votes needed for victory without a runoff. Political experts say he will reclaim the presidency regardless of whether the vote is clean and whatever the turnout. Read the rest of this entry »

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Russia Elections: Putin Warns Of Foreign Threat At Campaign Rally

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 23, 2012

MOSCOW — Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned against the dangers of foreign influence on Thursday at a campaign rally attended by tens of thousands of people, many of them state workers who were pressured to take part as a show of support for a leader facing his first outburst of public discontent.

With little real competition, Putin is almost certain to win a third term as president in the March 4 election. During 12 years in power, he has sidelined his political opponents and portrayed himself as the defender of a strong and prosperous Russia. His approval ratings are still running at well above 50 percent despite the largest opposition protests the country has seen since the 1991 Soviet collapse.

Putin has tried to discredit the protesters by accusing their leaders of being paid agents of the United States working to weaken Russia. His references on Thursday were more subtle as he called on all Russians who “cherish, care about and believe in” their motherland to unite.

“We ask everyone not to look abroad, not to run to the other side and not to deceive your motherland, but to join us,” he said from a makeshift stage in a soccer stadium as a light snow fell on his bare head.

But he also warned the West: “We won’t allow anyone to meddle in our affairs or impose their will upon us, because we have a will of our own.” Read the rest of this entry »

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‘For fair elections’: Tens of thousands at Moscow biggest protest (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 24, 2011

Just two weeks after the Russian capital saw its biggest opposition rally in nearly twenty years, Russians unhappy with the results of the December 4 parliamentary elections have gathered once again.

But this time, it’s in even bigger numbers, with the hopes that their collective voice will be heard. Protest organizers claim up to 120,000 people have gathered for the rally. Police, however, put the number of demonstrators at about 29,000. They are coming together to protest against vote fraud – and to demand a new ballot.

This time around, the rally is being held on Akademika Sakharova Boulevard, with nearby streets closed off to traffic. Police have refrained from calling in reinforcements from the Defense Ministry, but are maintaining a presence at the rally; metal detectors and barriers have been set in advance.

RT’s crew at the scene say the police on duty are friendly and polite, a fact which has also been stressed by human right activists at the rally.

Thirty people are scheduled to speak, including actors, journalists, musicians, politicians and businessmen. But recent polls show that most of the people who attend the rally aren’t interested in being addressed by the politicos and opposition party leaders – they are coming to hear public figures and social activists like TV anchor Leonid Parfenov and blogger Aleksey Navalny, who have already taken the floor. Read the rest of this entry »

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Russian Journalists Fired After Critical Election Coverage; Nets Owner Offers To Buy Outlet In Response

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 16, 2011

MOSCOW — The owner of the New Jersey Nets, who is running against Vladimir Putin in Russia’s presidential election, tried without success on Wednesday to buy a leading media holding company in the country.

Mikhail Prokhorov, who is worth about $18 billion according to Forbes magazine, announced his candidacy earlier this week for the March presidential election.

Prokhorov offered to buy Russia’s Kommersant publishing house, but its owner, Alisher Usmanov, said he doesn’t plan to sell it.

“We’re not considering the proposal. … We’re not going to sell the Kommersant publishing house,” Usmanov told reporters. He said that he instead offered to buy Prokhorov’s stake in the RBK media group, a competitor of Kommersant’s.

He did not say how Prokhorov had responded, and its was not immediately possible to reach the owner of the U.S. pro-basketball team.

Usmanov, a metals magnate, bought Kommersant for $200 million in 2006. The holding company, which includes Russia’s top business daily and other publications, has since expanded into radio and television broadcast.

On Tuesday, Usmanov fired an editor and a senior manager after the Kommersant Vlast weekly published an article about alleged fraud in Russia’s Dec. 4 parliamentary election and a photo of a ballot containing vulgar words directed at Putin. The weekly’s editor, Maxim Kovalsky, said he was told that’s why he was fired.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Russia: Presidential Candidates Square Up With Rival Beauties (Pictures)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 2, 2011

 

Russian presidential candidates Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev have recruited some unusual political allies for their rival campaigns.

At a recent meeting with bloggers at the Kremlin, Medvedev appeared flanked by a bevvy of teenage female supporters – all dressed as cheerleaders.

Not to be outdone, Putin recruited the help of some equally nubile politicos in the shape of bikini-clad car washers for a recent re-election rally.

Both candidates have received criticism for their use of attractive young ladies in their campaigns.

In a recent online advert for Putin’s United Russia party, a young woman was shown dragging a boy into a polling booth, sparking controversy amongst opposition politicians.

However, the furore is unlikely to derail Putin’s return to the presidency. The former KGB operative, who stepped down in 2008, is widely expected to win next year’s vote.

Check out our gallery of Kremlin crumpet, saucy Soviets and Bolshevik bunnies… “Putin” it about.

  Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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