Monthly Archives: March 2012

Venice Commission – About the Law on Political Parties of the Russian Federation

Comment of the month

The Council for Democratic Elections (at its 40-th meeting – 15 March 2012) and by the European Commission for Democracy through Law (usually well-known as the Venice Commission) at its 90-th Plenary Session (Venice, 16-17 March 2012) recommends Russian Federation that any supervisory powers and control of political parties should be given to an independent authority and not to part of the executive branch in order to ensure transparency and build institutional trust. Also, the Venice Commission is aware of the process of reform launched in December 2011, which proposes the liberalisation of important aspects of the Law on Political Parties, particularly concerning the requirements for the registration of political parties. The draft amendments are pending for adoption at the  Duma, where they were discussed in the first reading on 28 February 2012. The entire report can be read here.

The Batman′s return – The light battle for the Kremlin

Is a pretty long title, huh? If you have a deja vu from the movies with low ratings, but promoted as if it were a phenomenon, do not worry about – you’re right.  Beyond the media show is nothing spectacular in the battle for Kremlin. Not today ! In fact, if not long time ago, news headline in large letters wrote about the end of Putin’s career, now the tone of mass-media has changed visibly. In fact, the winner takes it all, right?

Monitored by web cameras (almost 200.000) and a network of volunteer

Where four fight the fifth wins !

civilian observers, Russians voted Sunday in presidential elections. Along with the OSCE mission, tens of thousands of Russians have volunteered to be election observers, receiving training for activist groups on how to recognize vote-rigging and record and report violations. But nobody seems to have doubts about the Batman′s return. Of course, together with his Robin (at least for a period of time, depending on the evolution of things internally and externally). Given its expansive territory, polling stations in some Russian regions have opened just recently, while in the most easterly areas the voting process is already well underway.

President in office and future PM, Dmitry Medvedev has urged Russians to take part in the presidential poll on March 4. He stressed that only voters can determine the country’s path for years to come, adding “our future depends on each and every one of us.” Moreover, a noteworthy win this election seems to be a significant increase of the population decided to go to the polls. Almost 260,000 Russians voted early, the Central Election Commission says. That includes 177,350 domestic voters and 81,667 casting ballots abroad. The figure is noticeable higher than that during the 2008 presidential election when 188,421 people voted early. December’s parliamentary election saw 193,815 early votes. Regarding accusations of election fraud, Russian media seems to have found that the maximum percentage of votes collected by fraud over time cannot exceed 5%.

Your holiday just ended!

According to the most recent survey by the independent Levada Center polling agency, Putin is on track to win the election with around two-thirds of the vote against four challengers. The results of an opinion poll by the state-run pollster VTsIOM released on Friday show that support for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin grew 3 percentage points this week to 52 percent and that he could win the March 4 presidential elections without a runoff. “Putin has a solid lead in the presidential election rating poll, with support for him growing from 49 to 52% throughout the week. Support for [Communist candidate] Gennady Zyuganov, who shares the second place with [LDPR candidate] Vladimir Zhirinovsky (8%), declined (from 11 to 8 percent)” the pollster said. A Just Russia party candidate Sergei Mironov lost two percentage points during the week and is currently supported by 4% of respondents. Mikhail Prokhorov’s ratings remained unchanged, at 4%. How can to change something five percent in addition in these conditions ? Mr. Putin is still the most popular individual, political figure in Russia – despite downward trajectory of his party United Russia and the massive street protests in Moscow and other cities at the end of 2011. He wants to keep the stability and predictability for Russia. Yes, it is boring and lacking enthusiastic prospects such approach. But the great mass of Russians who were not born in Putin′s Era (many of those who were born during Yeltsin probably going to vote for the first time), know it can be much worse. How was before he coming to the Kremlin. More, there is no coherent manifesto coming out of the opposition groups. I know that they do not like to hear it. But failure of opposition leaders to overcome their internal small and big egos have done the struggle for the chair from the Kremlin to be a small and easily won by Putin.The real question now is whether Mr. Putin can also present himself and his next presidency as something different from before. So, welcome back and success, Mr Putin ! Your holiday just ended !

UPDATE: Sunday, 4 March, 2012, 20.00 Moscow Time

Exit-polls results: Vladimir Putin61,8%, Ghenadi Ziuganov18%, Mikhail Prokhorov8%, Vladimir Jirinovski8%, Sergey Mironov4%.