So, Mr Putin won again the presidential elections for at least 6 years or 12 if reelected. The plan he made when his two first terms as president were going to finish, leaving the presidency to Dmitry Medvedev, going “down” in the meantime to the Primer Ministry Office with big powers and coming back after that parenthesis to the presidency for a brand new therm has worked. Not without resistance, but with protesters on the streets, Vladimir Putin is again at the top of the Kremlin with all the powers to silence the opposition if he wants. And it seems that he wants, because, there are already hundreds of arrests, police riots and military in the streets with armed vehicles. Now is time to see if he can do it because as the time passes the protests are going stronger and stronger
He took advantage of his popularity when it was at the top to design a system tailored to his perpetuation in power. A system designed to make very hard a rational opposition and easy a radical and scary opposition nobody wants. So the non-“putinist” civilized russians have to deal with great difficulties to make themselves heard by the people in and out the Country to the point of winning an election.
Nevertheless, it was close last December and that’s why the big Putin’s win last Sunday was so suspicious for everybody. It was for granted that he was going to win but not like that, with so huge margin, after the close results for the Duma the Sunday before. And this overwhelming results in the presidential elections instead to make him stronger, raise doubts of fraud, undermines his popularity and divides that huge Country he has to run if the protests let him.
Putin liked years ago a painting by a fan in a huge canvas with his ministers in a replica of an old one of the czar and his generals studying a battle, obviously being himself portrayed as the czar, with the festive uniform plenty of medals and gold decorations in the middle of the scene. Maybe he sees himself as a new kind of czar that let the “souls” of his “property” go to the polls time to time so they can have the fantasy that there are living in a democracy. Maybe he believes that he’s the only one who can govern the Country, like the Communist in the times of the Soviets. Maybe, and that’s more frequent in cases like this, when a president doesn’t want to left power, he has too much things under the carpet to let any one without his confidence enter the golden salons of the Kremlin.
As I said before the system designed by Mr. Putin when he was so popular, almost nobody discussed his power, makes very difficult a real democracy, because is populist, makes hard the development and the growing of a civilized opposition and plays with the people scaring them with the danger of the dangerous radical forces present in the political map. And if that fails, then is easy go to the old argument of the Cold War. If there is some accusation of fraud is because some scheme orchestrated from the US embassy (said from the United Russia party yesterday).
All this reminds me to regimes like the one of Mr. Chavez in Venezuela and others in his area of influence, when the president elected rightfully, take advantage of his absolute majority to change the constitution as first measure to perpetuate himself in power. (In the case of Chavez don’t counting on the fact the we are all humans and can get seriously sick). This are dictators (sounds hard, but I couldn’t find another proper word) disguised in rulers of democracies only because they let their people vote, hoping they will vote for them, but the disguise is not a camouflage it let’s see pretty much. Only a reminder: Don’t you remember who were the official names of the Communists Countries in Eastern Europe? Al of them were “democratic” by name and tyrannic by fact. What sense has to vote to one unique party? is Russia going back to that? Is that Putin’s idea of democracy? Me or the Chaos. How scary!
- In Chechnya, 107% Turnout – for Putin (newser.com)
- Vladimir Putin’s victory (hazimc.wordpress.com)
- Putin’s Spokesman Defends Protester Arrests – TIME (time.com)