Search
 
Write
 
Forums
 
Login
"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
Image Not found for user
User Name: abdulruff
Full Name: Dr.Abdul Ruff Colachal
User since: 15/Mar/2008
No Of voices: 1852
 
 Views: 1513   
 Replies: 0   
 Share with Friend  
 Post Comment  

Politics of Polls: Focus on Russia

-DR. ABDUL RUFF

____________

 

Russians elect parliament

 

In contemporary world, elections are held by the rulers and political classes  to fool the world. USA,  UK and Russia, for example,  use the polls to obtain legitimacy  indirectly  for  their crimes indoors and  abroad.

People are fooled every where. Polls in Russia or for that matter in many terrocracies are quite predictable as the ruling dispensations make full use of all possible resources at their command, legally or otherwise. Media used by the regime play the crucially central role in promoting the ruling party in polls as well. India that used Russian weapons to kill Muslim in occupied Kashmir regularly conducts shame polls though money, muscle and media strength to obtain mandate to loot the resources for themselves and help the multinationals and rich sections. Muslims are  used as mere vote bank stuff. American leaders openly seek bribes duding  the campaigns from the arms-liquor merchants and agents  and serve the multinationals. .

Entire state machinery of Russian Federation was in full swing to see Vladimir Putin’s ruling party win at least a reduced majority in parliament, as Russians voted on 03 December in “marathon” elections braving freezing temperatures, amid claims the authorities were engaging in foul play to ensure it maintained dominance. The elections to the lower house of parliament, the 450-deputy State Duma, are seen as a key test of Putin’s ability to hold on to power as he, now prime minister, prepares to reclaim his old Kremlin job as Russia’s president in a March vote amid growing disillusionment over his 11-year rule.

The election process in the world’s largest country spread over nine time zones kicked off in Pacific Ocean regions and was to conclude 21 hours later with the close of polls in exclave of Kalinda on the borders with the European Union, nine time zones away. Polls opened at 2000 in the Far East, and the Primorsky Krai where Vladivostok is located was one of several Far Eastern regions where polling began. The other regions to vote first included parts of diamond-mining Yakutia, the region of Sakhalin which includes an island chain contested by Japan, Kamchatka, and Magadan, the site of Soviet-era Gulag camps.

 

 

There has been no serious threat to the Putin regime, except the US threat gimmicks that in fact promotes Kremlin authoritarianism. Seven parties were running in the elections to the lower house of parliament, the 450-deputy State Duma, which are seen as a dry run of March presidential polls in which current Prime Minister Putin is expected to win back his old Kremlin job. The three main opposition parties — the Communists, the nationalist Liberal Democrats and the populist A Just Russia — should all see their support tick up without posing any significant challenge to United Russia.

The outgoing parliament, or State Duma, is dominated by Putin’s party, with seats also held by the Communist Party, the nationalist Liberal Democrats and the social-democratic Fair Russia.

The four years since the last parliamentary vote in 2007 have been marked by an outburst of criticism of the authorities on the Internet as web penetration in Russia started to finally catch up with the rest of Europe. Independent observers and opposition parties expect authorities to skew polling results in favor of United Russia and say the only major intrigue would be the scale of falsifications to secure victory for Putin’s party.

Putin claimed a land slide for his party. But with support for Putin and his party crumbling, United Russia is expected to win just over half the vote. Analysts say United Russia had initially hoped to repeat the success of the last parliamentary elections in 2007 when it secured a landslide majority of 64.3 per cent and received 315 seats in the Duma.

Turnout would indicate how many Russians are disillusioned with the political process after over a decade of Putin’s strongman rule. Putin’s United Russia is still expected to have a clear majority but opinion polls have predicted that its nationwide poll rating will drop from 2007 when it secured a landslide majority of 64.3 percent and won 315 seats in the Duma.

A presidential poll will be held on 4 March, when Putin will stand for election having served two previous terms in the post.

 Political economy of Russia 

Spanning nine time zones, Russia is the largest country on earth in terms of surface area, although large tracts in the north and east are inhospitable and sparsely populated. This vast Eurasian land mass covers more than 17m sq km, with a climate ranging from the Arctic north to the generally temperate south.

Russia is a major exporter of weapons, and other terror gods. Russia’s economic power lies in its key natural resources – oil and gas. The energy giant Gazprom is close to the Russian state and critics say it is little more than an economic and political tool of the Kremlin.  At a time of increased concern over energy security, Moscow has more than once reminded the rest of the world of the power it wields as a major energy supplier. In 2006, it cut gas to Ukraine after a row between the countries, a move that also affected the supply of gas to Western Europe

Russia emerged from a decade of post-Soviet economic and political turmoil to reassert itself as a world power. Incomes from vast natural resources, above all oil and gas, have helped Russia overcome the economic collapse of 1998. The state-run gas monopoly Gazprom is the world’s largest producer and exporter, and supplies a growing share of Europe’s needs.

Resurgent Russian economy is further boosted by roaring oil/gas prices and booming arms trade. During Putin’s presidency Russia’s booming economy and assertive foreign policy bolstered national pride. In particular, Russia promoted its perceived interests in former Soviet states more openly, even at the cost of antagonizing the West.

In the period of rapid privatization in the early 1990s, the government of President Boris Yeltsin created a small but powerful group of magnates, often referred to as “oligarchs”, who acquired vast interests in the energy and media sectors.  President Yeltsin’s successor, Vladimir Putin, moved to reduce the political influence of oligarchs soon after taking office, forcing some into exile and prosecuting others.

While Russians make up more than 80% of the population and Orthodox Christianity is the main religion, there are many other ethnic and religious groups. Muslims are concentrated among the Volga Tatars and the Bashkirs and in the North Caucasus.

Human rights groups at home and abroad have accused Russian forces in Chechnya of widespread abuses against the public. Since the 11 September attacks on the US Moscow has tried to present its campaign as part of the global war against terrorism.

Experience shows that opposition parties viewed by the authorities as anti-Kremlin or anti-Putin, and which openly criticize the Russian prime minister, normally struggle to receive official registration.  So, what do Russians make of this pre-ordained transfer of power?

Putin is Russia?

 Putin, who was recently subjected to unprecedented booing at a martial arts fight, and President Dmitry Medvedev have made clear they did not want to see a squabbling parliament like in the 1990s under Boris Yeltsin. “If someone wants to watch a show, then they need to go to the circus, the movies or theatre,” Putin told workers at a shipyard in Saint Petersburg, urging Russians to vote for his party.

Economic strength has allowed Vladimir Putin to enhance state control over political institutions and the media, buoyed by extensive public support for his policies as prime minister, president and now prime minister again.

Kremlin takes every opportunity to  showcase its importance in  the former Soviet space. The tensest moment came in August 2008, when a protracted row over two breakaway regions of Georgia escalated into a military conflict between Russia and Georgia. Russia sent troops into Georgia and declared that it was recognizing the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, sparking angry reactions in the West and fears of a new Cold War.

At the same time, Moscow threatened to counter plans by the US Bush regime to develop an anti-missile system in Eastern Europe with its own missiles in Kaliningrad Region on Poland’s borders. President Obama later withdrew the plan, in a move seen in Russian official circles as a vindication of the assertive foreign policy. Another source of irritation between Russia and the US is Moscow’s role in Iran’s nuclear energy program. Russia agreed in 2005 to supply fuel for Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor and has been reluctant to support the imposition of UN sanctions on Iran.

Putin can claim kilometerstone during his reign in US-Russia ties. A gradual warming in relations between Russia and the US early in 2010 culminated in the signing of a new nuclear arm treaty designed to replace the expired Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (Start) of 1991.  Though disagreements remain between Moscow and Washington over US plans for a missile defence shield, there are signs that the thaw in relations could extend to a greater willingness on the part of Russia to apply pressure on Iran over its nuclear program.

Vladimir Putin, who leads the ruling United Russia party, has accused foreign powers of meddling in election preparations. Since the best candidate for president is ready, Russians now know the name of their next president – Vladimir Putin. Even before the polls, it felt like the day after a general election. The presidential election will be little more than a referendum on what has already been agreed behind closed doors – that Putin will return to the presidency.

Last week Medvedev adviser Igor Yurgens said he was sure that the president would seek a second term. Today he admitted defeat. The rational explanation is that Medvedev was under pressure and the stronger and more influential Putin got the upper hand. Dmitry Medvedev’s time in the Kremlin was merely “camouflage” for a third Putin presidential term. It likens Russia to the Titanic, heading for a disaster.

Vladimir Putin’s strongman image seems to go down well with many Russians. Some of President Medvedev’s own advisers are deflated, too. They know who their prime minister is going to be – Dmitry Medvedev. They have a pretty good idea which political party will have the majority in parliament – United Russia. They know all this, even though parliamentary elections are still two-and-a-half months away. And the next presidential election will not be until March 2012.

It is thus unthinkable that Vladimir Putin could lose that election. He remains the most popular politician in Russia. That is partly because of his strongman image, which goes down well with the public. And it is partly because the political system he has created prevents any potential rivals from appearing on the scene, from getting air time on national TV, and from gaining authority.

It is the same with Russia’s political parties. In December’s Duma election, only those parties approved or tolerated by the Kremlin will have the opportunity to contest the poll.

Putin may have enhanced the image of Russia as a strong power, though most people remain poor and are unhappy. But the tendency to equate a leader or a celebrity with the nation is both ironic and foolish!

Media

Bulk of Russia media are solidly behind the authoritarian regime.

Russia’s main independent vote monitors have been denounced and harassed by the authorities ahead of the elections, while several opposition news websites were the victims of an apparent mass hacking attack on polling day. In the run-up to the parliamentary polls, Russia’s independent monitor group Golos (Voice) claimed rampant violations in the election campaign, including pressure to vote for Putin’s United Russia party. Golos “Map of Violations” website documenting claims of campaign fraud became the target of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack while its whole communications system was being undermined. Golos was fined nearly $1,000 and became the subject of a prime time television program that accused the “ostensibly independent observers” of acting in the interests of the US government. Customs officials held Golos head Lilia Shibanova for 12 hours at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport and confiscated her laptop on 03 Dec. The website of popular radio station Moscow Echo, which is owned by state gas monopoly Gazprom but often tackles sensitive issues, was the subject of a similar hacking attack. The attack on the website on the election-day is clearly an attempt to inhibit publication of information about violations.

 

Pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi (Ours) said that 15,000 of its members would be moving around Moscow during the vote while the members of the radical opposition said they would stage unsanctioned protests later in the day.

 

Allegations were denounced by Putin and pro-Kremlin TV. Duma members have questioned why the foreign-funded organization – whose name means “voice” or “vote” – is allowed to monitor Russian elections.

 

In a televised address on Friday, President Dmitry Medvedev insisted Russia’s political parties enjoyed “free and equal competition” ahead of the election. Without naming United Russia, he urged voters to choose “responsible politicians, who can help improve our people’s living standards in practice, and who will be guided in their actions by the interests of voters and national interests”.

 

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former head of the Yukos oil company and a supporter of the liberal opposition, was serving eight years in a Siberian penal colony on tax and fraud charges before he was released by the state recently. Yukos assets were later acquired by the state oil giant Rosneft.

 

Judging from some of Russian papers, there is a degree of anger. The paper Moskovsky Komsomolets accuses Vladimir Putin of wanting more than just 12 more years – two terms – in power. The popular tabloid has a cartoon on its front page. It shows a ballot box with a heart-shaped slot for the ballot papers.


Freedom Struggles

 

west used to support and even promote the freedom struggles  waged by Muslim nations within Russian federation but since CIA-Mossad engineered Sept-11 hoax Russia has benefited significantly by supporting the US-UK led NATO  GST wars essentially against Islam and for energy resources of the Mideast. West has been bullied by Moscow  to oppose Chechnya because they are also “terrorists”. .

 

Many Muslim nations, like Chechnya, Tataristan, Dagestan, were annexed and added to Russian empire and people now reclaim their lost sovereignty. But the Kremlin uses force to silencing them, killing in thousands. Putin had assured the Chechens that they would get sovereignty if they behave well like good pupils and since now a pro-Moscow regime is in place in Grozny (the capital of Chechnya) world expects  the Kremlin  to free Chechnya other seeking sovereignty back from Moscow control.  However, Putin who came to power in 2000 by murdering Chechen fighters stock and barrel, almost in full, deliberately maintain discrete silence over this explosive issue. Perhaps Russians who hate the Chechens and Muslims think the matter is already settled in favor of Russia.

 

Those  Muslims who seek sovereignty  from the Kremlin yoke are termed  by the Russians as terrorists and separatists. The so-called “separatists” and “armed Islamists” have made the Caucasus region of Chechnya a war zone for much of the post-Soviet era. Many thousands have died since Russian troops were first sent to put down a separatist rebellion in 1994. Moscow is “convinced” that any loosening of its grip on Chechnya would result in the whole of the North Caucasus falling to “anarchy” or “Islamic militancy”.  Russian media fuels this fear among the people so that Russians hate Islam and Muslims while support a “strong” presidency.

 

Like India has been doing to Kashmiris, Russia has been fooling Chechens. In a sign of growing confidence that peace might be returning, the Russian authorities called a formal end to the military operation against the “rebels” in 2009. Sporadic violence continues, however, with a major suicide bomb blast in September 2010 reigniting the debate about the efficacy of the counter-terror campaign.

 

Now  the Russians might be happy  that USA is not allowed to support the Chechens. But Russia will have to free the  Muslim nations one day.

 

 

Observations

 

 

The UNSC veto power has kept the Kremlin to achieve almost all its goals and its cooperation for secret terror operations and support for NATO has promoted Russian interest. This explains why an innocent looking India is deadly focused on veto handle to sustain the brutality in occupied Jammu Kashmir, killing Muslims there and in India proper, control the world.

 

And Russia, without conceding the West any concession on human rights violations, has, by extending support for the notorious NATO terror operations, also won its most important foreign policy ambition of entering the WTO to make friends with American and other global capitalists officially. After all the US –led western terrocracies just raise the HR issues just to bully Russia and obtain its support for NATO terrorism and in Islamic world and GST  terror operations around the world.

 

Human rights groups at home and abroad have accused Russian forces in Chechnya of widespread abuses against the public. Since the 11 September attacks on the US Moscow has tried to present its campaign as part of the global war against terrorism.

Experience shows that opposition parties viewed by the authorities as anti-Kremlin or anti-Putin, and which openly criticize the Russian prime minister, normally struggle to receive official registration.  So, what do Russians make of this pre-ordained transfer of power?

 

Overt economic or other exploitation is less fanciful these days even in USA and Russia. Political parasitism and economic frauds are the deciding factors in global polls.

 

There has been growing dissent among the people against the present Russian governance.  Even many former United Russia supporters from the Pacific city of Vladivostok also said the ruling party had done virtually nothing over the past four years.

 

Russia has generated huge chunk of rural and urban poor following the “death of communism” while a new capitalist class, led by the notorious oligarchs, and emerged from the old establishment to provide scope of prestige for Russian crop of parasites.

.

Elections are necessary to reclaim a popular mandate to rule. From the point of view of democracy, it is not good that we have such a small choice. But at least we know Putin. He’s been president before, so many are not against him. There’s no cause for rejoicing.”

In Russia, elections have become little more than a plebiscite on the nation’s love of one man.

Even if Obama is “reposted” by his democratic party for a second term, none can for sure say he would run successfully.  But even much before election were mentioned in the media, Vladimir Putin’s election to Presidency is assured. Now the polls have been conducted in Russia for the Parliament Duma and none doubts the ruing United Russia would win majority of seats. That is Russian system.

 

 

Russians have not changed much since the Soviet days wanting a centralized autocratic regime if regime. Some said they would support Putin’s United Russia, while others noted they had so far seen nothing from it but empty promises. Otherwise they are conformed innocent.

 

The results are already clear. When Dmitry Medvedev took the stage at a party conference and backed his mentor for presidency, Putin, he effectively handed back the keys to the Kremlin. Job done!

 

It is however not very clear if the Russian voters have realized the significance of electing a parliament as mere formality for the next five years on expected lines.

 

 

 

 No replies/comments found for this voice 
Please send your suggestion/submission to webmaster@makePakistanBetter.com
Long Live Islam and Pakistan
Site is best viewed at 1280*800 resolution