Putin wants clean presidential vote

2011-12-27 16:27

Moscow - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that the March presidential election, in which he'll compete, should be transparent and fair, but rejected demands from swelling numbers of protesters for a rerun of the fraud-tainted parliamentary election.

Putin's United Russia party barely retained its majority in the December 4 election despite alleged vote-rigging in its favour. Tens of thousands have protested since, urging an end to Putin's rule, including a Moscow rally last weekend that was the largest show of discontent since the Soviet collapse 20 years ago.

Putin, who served as president in 2000-2008 and remained the country's most powerful figure after switching to the premier's seat due to a term limit, has responded to the protests by offering to ease his rigid controls over the political field.

At the same time, he has sought to cast protesters as Western stooges working to weaken Russia.

On Tuesday, during a meeting with supporters he dismissed the opposition as lacking a goal beyond fomenting turmoil, accused its leaders of trying to delegitimise elections and said they haven't proven their worth.

"The problem is they lack a consolidated programme, as well as clear and comprehensible ways of achieving their goals, which aren't clear either," said Putin.

"They also lack people who are capable of doing something concrete."

Putin again flatly rejected the demands for a rerun of the parliamentary vote, saying that "there can't be any talk about reviewing it".

However, he urged his supporters to ensure fairness of the presidential vote to prevent any possible criticism, and discussed details of his proposal to put web cameras at all polling stations. He also suggested that all ballot boxes be made transparent.

"As a candidate, I don't need any vote-rigging," Putin said. "I want the election to be maximally transparent. I want to rely on people's will."

Putin and Dmitry Medvedev, who succeeded him in the presidency and is expected to switch to the premiership after March, earlier rolled out a set of proposed political reforms intended to assuage public anger.

They include relaxing registration rules for political parties and restoring direct elections of provincial governors abolished by Putin.

But opposition leaders have rejected the government proposals as window-dressing, pointing out that they would only affect the next election cycle years away and vowing to continue street protests.

Alexei Navalny, an anti-corruption lawyer and popular blogger who has been a key driving force behind the latest protests, vowed that up to a million demonstrators would take to the streets before the presidential election.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    dmitry medvedev  |  vladimir putin  |  russia

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Paige to become Springbok No 869. But who were 1-868?
A simple Bok plan will floor USA
Eben, Lood ‘brutal identikits’
6 reasons Boks won’t botch it
Traffic Alerts

Relationships and significant connections may play an important role in your day today. Let the warmth of the Leo moon inspire you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.