On December 4, 2001 the Russians voted in the State Duma election.
The outcome of the election and the subsequent protests in several Russian cities have inflamed the media on many meridians. Almost all comments on the Russian legislative election have featured quite incendiary headlines in the international media. The demonstrations in Russia were put in parallel with the developments in the ‘Arab spring’ or the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement in the US.
It has been alleged that the election of the State Duma had been evidently fixed, had not taken place in a free context and according to democratic norms and, more than that, in the initial phase (about 1,000 arrests have been mentioned), the authorities had taken reprisals against the protestors taking to the streets in major cities and particularly in Moscow.
United Russia, the party that supports the sitting premier and the candidate for a new presidential term (the third) in March next year, Vladimir Putin, obtained between 49 and 50 per cent of the votes cast (apart from the 19 percent gathered by the Communists and 12 per cent going to other parties close to the power), losing therefore roughly 15 per cent of the votes it had presumed to get. Analyses have shown that, should results have not been defrauded, the ruling party in Russia would have actually lost one third of the total number of cast votes (just over 30-35 per cent instead of 49-50 per cent).
Protests started almost instantly. For the first time a few tens of thousands (30,000 Police said, over 100,000 according to organisers) gathered in a protest rally in Moscow on December 10, setting a record since the dramatic years of the last decade of the previous century. It would not be redundant to remind that protests were held in over 60 Russian cities simultaneously with the big rally in Moscow was, which prompted President Medvedev to post a promise on his Facebook page the next day that he would order an election fraud probe. It only shows the authorities take the scale of demonstrations very seriously and try to generate a consistent answer.
A common point of all mentioned analyses with which we have to agree is that the power in Russia, impersonated by the Putin – Medvedev tandem, is faced with an unprecedented challenge, that new social forces having become aware of their importance and civil rights, have engaged in an energetic assertion of those, that the new communication technologies show a completely different Russia than a few years back. Different in that the power, manifesting itself through the abovementioned political tandem has given the society stability – founded on a torrent of petrodollars, giving the illusion of prosperity – now needs to realise that this unwritten social pact has ceased to operate. And that anticipates a period of uncertainty inside political Russia.
Full Article: Russia after Duma election.