Kasyanov: “elections neither free, nor fair”

Mikhail Kasyanov, leader of the Russian National-Democratic Union (RNDS), said the elections to the State Duma were “neither free, nor fair”. Earlier, he had called for an election boycott. Kasyanov said that “we cannot allow for the next president to be illegitimate as well”.
http://grani.ru/Politics/Russia/Election/m.130728.html .

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  1. The Putin dillema is that the former incumbent Russian president today has remained to be the most strong successful symbol of stability for many Russians: a national logotype that can ensure political longevity for any political program, even the most helpless and unviable.

    The last May celebrations in Russia indicated a revival of great consolidation and patriotism among people who profess nostalgia for the USSR and who think the Russia should be a great powerful country.

    There has been evidence of diminishing democracy since 1993 (including the use of tanks against parliament), however, it has only recently received such a critical attention among foreign and American observers.

    For the most part Russia follows the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which this country is a signatory member. On paper, Russia’s human rights law is actually quite good. There is inscribed in Russian Constitution law as an example that the Russian Federation – Russia is a democratic federal law-governed state with the republican form of a government and an article 2 of Constitution of Russia Federation sygnifies: “Man, his rights and liberties are the supreme value of the state. It shall be a duty of the state to recognize, respect and protect the rights and liberties of man and citizen”.

    Unfortunately, the lofty ideals embodied in many of the instruments to which Russia has acceded remain to have been on paper. Thus, Russia fell 20 places – from 88th to 108th – in the “protection of property rights” category, making it among the worst out of 117 countries in the survey. Russia also fell from 84th to 102th in “judicial independence” and from 85th to 106th in “favoritism in decisions of government officials.”

    Although the Yukos takeover was the first positive step of the state towards renationalisation of energy resourses, to the big profit of certain closely connected Russian though to the detriment of foreign interests.

    Russia has remained to be among the oil richest countries of the world. In his recent television address to Russian people, Putin said that the country’s economy has been growing at an average of 10 percent per year, a rate Russia exceeded in both 2003 and 2004, according to International Monetary Fund figures. This is a good indicator of stability for Russia oil-based economy.

    Experts believe that Russia’s oil-driven economic growth further would be even higher with the proper institutional reforms, possibly reaching 10 or 11 percent annually.

    The second point is that with Moscow leading the way, Russia is now dramatically reversing a decade-long drop in its national birthrate. Not only were 122,750 more birth registered in 2007 than in 2006, but the number of children born kast year was the highest since 1991. Officials attributed the turning birth tide due to new policies and increased economic stability in Russia. It definitely has to do with improvements in living standards and economic growth.

    On the other positive side, the analysts praised the establishment of the Russian stabilization fund as a bulwark against a potential drop in the world price of oil. This important initiative of Russian government is arguably the most important example of economic legislation in Russia which surely would be approved in the following four presidential years.

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