Putin encourages 108 million citizens to vote for “patriotism” in three-day legislative elections
The European Parliament asked the EU on Thursday not to recognize the new Russian Parliament to leave the polls this weekend in case there are signs of fraud in the legislative elections. The recommendation is accompanied by other measures, such as the suspension of Russia in international organizations such as the Council of Europe. MEPs fear that the elections will be held “in violation of democratic principles and international law” with the sole purpose of Vladimir Putin preparing the ground to win the next presidential elections and remain in power.
The resolution was approved with 494 votes in favor, 103 against and 72 abstentions, and reveals the growing climate of tension between Russia and the West in the international political context, which in recent months has been represented in the issuance of mutual sanctions between Brussels and Moscow. The text of the European Parliament considers that the Kremlin “is destroying political competition, leaving no possibility of fair elections.” The Eurocamara affirms that the elections will suppose “a test” so that the EU examines the Russian policy and compares its situation with the elections of Belarus last year. ‘The EU and its institutions must work on the assumption that change is possible in Russia. It also takes courage to take a firm stand against the Kremlin regime when it comes to defending human rights, ”he stresses.
From this Friday until Sunday, 108 million Russians are called to the polls to elect the 450 deputies of the State Duma (Lower House of Parliament). President Vladimir Putin on Thursday sent a message to his fellow citizens to come to vote and show their “patriotism.” His main adversary, the jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalni, asked on Wednesday to cast the vote in favor of any party except United Russia, the formation of the head of the Kremlin.
«I ask you to participate in the next vote. Come to your electoral colleague or take advantage of the possibility of remote electronic voting. Modern technologies guarantee their safety and reliability, “said the Russian prime minister through a video posted on the Kremlin’s website.
“A well-coordinated work of the State, society and citizens is necessary to respond to modern challenges and effectively use the new possibilities that are offered to us,” he said on the eve of an appointment with the polls that does not seem to have motivated the population and whose campaign has not aroused great interest either. In his words, “the election of a new composition of the Lower House of Parliament is an important event in the life of the country (.), Everyone is interested in having competent people, in word, capable of fulfilling the Duma come to the Duma. his promises.
However, his statement clashes with opinions such as that of the opposition Navalni, who has always considered that the deputies of United Russia, whom he has come to label as “bandits”, are neither competent, nor have a word, nor keep their promises. For this reason, he has asked citizens to resort to the so-called “smart vote”, consisting of supporting the candidate, of any party with the best chance of being elected, but never of Putin.
Ivan Zhdanov, a close associate of Navalni in exile, announced on Wednesday the candidates of other formations, since they themselves will not be able to participate in the elections because they are classified as “extremists”, for which they recommend casting the vote. Among them there are 137 from the Communist Party (61%), 48 from the Social Democrats of Just Russia, 20 from the ultranationalists from the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) and 5 from the liberal Yabloko party. The aim is to win the largest number of seats possible from the Kremlin party, although it will probably not be possible to prevent it from revalidating the absolute majority.
Already at the end of the electoral campaign, Putin announced that he had to quarantine himself again when “dozens” of covid-19 cases were detected among Presidential officials. “In my environment (…) there is not one, not two, but several dozen people who have fallen ill with coronavirus,” the president revealed this Thursday during a meeting by videoconference of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (ODKB).
“I had to cancel my visit to Dushambé (Tajikistan) at the last moment and I am very sorry,” said the Russian leader. Before revealing his isolation, the Russian president received his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al Assad, and several Paralympic athletes who had just returned from Tokyo on Monday in Moscow.