Russian Communists make big gains in elections

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Results of Russia's Dec. 4 parliamentary elections have upended the United Russia party's dominance of the government. They foreshadow new challenges to current Prime Minister - and presidential hopeful - Vladimir Putin in advance of March presidential elections.

United Russia's former two-thirds majority is now just 53 percent. By contrast, its closest challenger, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, has posted big gains, winning nearly 20 percent of seats, up from less than 12 percent in 2007.

Many observers say only pervasive fraud kept United Russia's losses from being far worse. Videos showing violations went viral on the Internet, fueling protests including a thousands-strong rally in downtown Moscow.

There and in St. Petersburg, police arrested hundreds of demonstrators protesting the wholesale stuffing of ballot boxes and other violations.

In one video cited by The New York Times, an election observer caught an official at a Moscow polling place sitting at his desk, marking ballots. In another, observers from an opposition party showed that the ink in pens in voting booths was easily erasable. In a third, observers caught a group carrying multiple ballots marked for United Russia in bags under their clothes.

Election observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) cited overall concerns about lack of separation between the government and United Russia, and election administrators' lack of independence.

The Just Russia party said it would investigate ballot box stuffing in St. Petersburg, said to involve pre-marked ballots. The independent Russian election monitor, Golos, said it had logged over 7,000 cases of fraud, and reported that its web site had been felled by a cyber attack.

Despite the Communist Party of the Russian Federation's gains, CPRF head Gennady Zyuganov called the elections "unprecedented in their filth, pressure and falsification." He said the CPRF will now insist on a greater role in running the government, including naming of a party member as parliament's deputy speaker.

In a statement, the CPRF said the campaign was "fierce and riddled with gross violations of the law by the authorities, anti-Communist pronouncements and numerous cases of vote rigging. We were confronted by the state machine of Russia, its bureaucratic apparatus, and not the political party that calls itself United Russia."

The CPRF said it had also gained in regional elections around the country.

The CPRF's election program calls for ensuring national security, shifting from economic decline to accelerated development, and overcoming poverty and social degradation. Near-term priorities include renewed industrialization, special concern for agriculture, greater interaction between science and production, supporting children and youth, improving health and education, and "a new cultural upsurge."

Trying to put a good face on things, Putin told supporters at United Russia headquarters that the election results show "we can assure the stable development of the country." But the pervasive election violations have only reinforced the widespread view that United Russia is "the party of thieves and crooks."

Vladimir Putin succeeded Boris Yeltsin as Russia's president, serving from 2000 through early 2008. Since then he has served as prime minister. He now seeks to return to the presidency in the March elections.

Photo: Russian Communist Party supporters protest election fraud, Moscow, Russia, Dec. 5. (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP)

 

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  • awesomenesss

    Posted by vu, 05/27/2012 11:06am (2 years ago)

  • It is true that there were irregularities in this election, however, one has to note that the NED, the US government supported NGO, is very active in the so-called democratic demostrations, and I believe that some of the accusations of ballot stuffing might be the works of the US government. Remember the Orange revolution and Pink revolution, which were organizaed by the NED and other west-supported facist organizations. Also one should note that the so-called anti-Putin sentiment or anti-United Russia sentiment is directed to Medivedev, who might be a second Golvachov, and who is very pro-West in his viewpoint: He directed to abstain in the UN 1973 resolution against the Foreign Ministry, which seems to have planned to veto it, judging from the circumstances at that time. Due to Medivedev's pro-West act, Lybia was invaded by the West, and the rest is the history. Lybia was the obstruct for the West's expansion in Africa. Putin critisized Medivedev.
    Also one should not forget that Putin helped Russia from the ruins mainly imposed by the US and the EU, and has made it a strong military power to counter the West, protecting the world peace, and the world from the invasion by the US and the West. That is the reason for the hates of Putin by the West.

    Posted by kotoko, 12/29/2011 1:21am (2 years ago)

  • COMMUNISM: "KINGDOM OF GOD" FOR EQUALITY AND JUSTICE

    My vision for communism is based on the message of God delivered by the prophets to create "kingdom of God" to establish "equality and justice" for the whole mankind.

    God created all human beings. He made some more brainier and some less brainy. Now, why should a less brainy men/women earn less wages for the reason they are not responsible? Similarly, why should a more brainy, gifted men/women deserve more wages which they did not create? Beside these, there are social factors like some people born in rich families get better and higher education to earn more, and some people born in poor families living in slums do not get any education resulting in earning minimum wages. Did they decide to take birth in poor family in third world countries? I know, all believers of God will equivocally say, it was God's decision. Yes, that is precisely my point. Then why these poor and less brainy people should suffer and earn less? Believers of God would say, "it is a test of God for the rich people whether they give charity and take care of the poor or not." This is ludicrous. Rich and poor are made by the economic system of capitalism. Did God establish capitalism on earth? Why can’t we think in this way - this world is a test of God and the test is whether we share equally regardless of our strength, brain, intelligence, education, race, religion, country, nationality or religion. And as a believer of God we should seek reward not on this world. We should seek reward from God in heaven.

    Is there any believer of God who thinks God will not reward for his sacrifice and good deeds in heaven? If not, then what is the problem in earning equal wages? Is God going to punish you for taking same wage? :) Well, you can always say it was not your choice - you can blame it on the communist government :), can’t you?

    Now, the atheists might say, we do not believe on God and the reward after death. They may want reward for their naturally gifted brainwork in this world. Well, here is my answer to them. The atheists are less than 20% in the world. And the believers are more than 80% in the world. Communism is good for the majority of the people. Therefore, if it is good and fair for the 80% people, it should be acceptable to you. After all, is not that the democracy all about? You are given equal rights just like everybody else. Only thing you are restricted is to accumulate vast capital with your gifted brain or through manipulation and cheating. I would justify this restriction by my principle of greater interest.

    Therefore, I call the third world countries of Asia, Africa, North America and South America to unite and build the "kingdom of God" based on the "equality and Justice" which is communism.

    Create workers union in every country, every city and stand up for your basic rights:

    Wake up all the "poor and meek" of the world and unite for the following mission:

    To end the economic and social injustice is a message of GOD delivered through HIS messengers and must not be ignored.
    Pope’s message..."that Rich and Poor nations and people of all faiths should unite to end poverty and all forms of social discrimination-- and that young people should lead the way"... should be taken very seriously.
    The planet Earth is not designed by GOD to have artificial boundaries. The Earth should exist as a boundaryless one country "United States of Planet Earth" or "United Nations of Planet Earth" or "Earthian Union".
    Food, Health, Shelter and Education are the four basic birth right for all Human Beings irrespective of Race, Religion and National origin. These four basic rights should be established uniformly immediately under the Government of United Nations.
    Present Economic and Banking System has been designed for the Rich and Wealthy and should be modified immediately to protect the poor and needy.

    Nurul I. Mukul writes for the sake of equality and justice.

    Posted by Nurul Islam Mukul, 12/09/2011 10:49am (2 years ago)

  • I suppose that why Putin et al are "white-baiting" the U.S. to divert attention from their real fear.

    Posted by bigal, 12/08/2011 10:09pm (2 years ago)

  • The situation in Russia is a rapidly-developing one, but I'm not sure the CPRF is the best situated to lead the protest movement that is emerging. But the more significant problem is that there is no clear leader...

    Posted by C.J., 12/07/2011 10:43pm (2 years ago)

  • Fortunately or unfortunately, the Soviets have reached the trash bin history. Our Redgrandad seems out of touch with reality.
    However, the Communists in Russia are the real deal.
    The vast, vast, changes Lenin and his worker/advocates like Zaporozhets, Silvin, Krzhizhanovsky, the Bodrovs, the Nevzorovs, Knyozev, Merkulov, Shelgunov, and of course, Krupskaya.
    Literacy, science, the arts and public health skyrocketed from among the thousands-to among the millions upon millions as Slavs, Jews, Gypsies, Asians to the Great Russians, with the advent of Lenin's Communists and workers-and because of this, the marching song of the workers, by the workers, for the workers and of the workers will sound again.
    We must remember that history, according to the genius Marx, moves much like a winding, helical structure, as it advances-upward.
    The deeply implanted roots of revolutionary social science initiated by the workers and Lenin will re-sprout, again, and again.

    Posted by E.E.W. Clay, 12/07/2011 5:57pm (2 years ago)

  • Great News! The Soviet people have tasted the bitter fruits of capitalism. Now a Marxist Leninist Communist party will once more lead the working class to victory in Russia. Love live the Soviets!!

    Posted by Red grandad, 12/07/2011 3:20pm (2 years ago)

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