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Politics of Polls: Focus on Russia

Politics of Polls: Focus on Russia
DR. ABDUL RUFF


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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.








——–








د. عبد راف
Dr. Abdul Ruff, Specialist
on State Terrorism; Educationist; Chancellor-Founder of Centor for
International Affairs(CIA); Independent Columnist-Analyst;Chronicler of
Foreign occupations & Freedom movements(Palestine,Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Xinjiang, Chechnya, etc);Former university Teacher; Global media today, even in Muslim nations, are controlled by anti-Islamic agencies.Terrorism
is caused by anti-Islamic forces. Fake democracies like USA and India
have zero-tolerance to any criticism of their anti-Muslim and other
aggressive practices.Anti-Muslimism and anti-Islamism are more dangerous
than ”terrorism”.Anti-Islamic forces & terrorists are using
criminal elements for terrorizing the world and they in disguise are
harming genuine interests of ordinary Muslims. /abdulruff.wordpress.com//91-9961868309/91-9961868309


Added: Dec-16-2011 Occurred On: Dec-16-2011
By: abdulruff
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Tags: Politics, of, Polls:, Focus, on, Russia
Location: Moscow, Moscow City, Russia (load item map)
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