Putin: Russia will never be a dictatorship

2012-01-25 18:04

Moscow - Russia will never become a dictatorship, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday, as he continued his bid for a third term as president despite unprecedented protests against his rule.

"We have an open country and no matter what they say or write, no matter what scary statements they make about some sort of dictatorship, we don't have that and - I hope - never will," he told students of Tomsk Polytechnic University in Siberia.

Putin, who served two consecutive presidential terms between 2000 and 2008, has sought to dispel fears he plans to impose a more authoritarian style of leadership upon his planned return to the Kremlin.

"We have an open market economy and an open country on the whole," he said in comments released by his office.

Putin is wrestling with the worst legitimacy crisis of his 12-year rule after he announced plans to seek a third term in the Kremlin in a job swap with incumbent President Dmitry Medvedev in September.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in protest after December parliamentary elections that observers said were slanted in favour of Putin's ruling party.

  • Jaba - 2012-01-25 18:32

    4 words: Russia is a dictatorship.

      Boer - 2012-01-25 20:06

      The ANC is a Dictatorship. Just look at the state of the South-African nation. Yes.

      Gerhard - 2012-01-25 20:19

      Here in SA we got the dictatorship of the party modelled along Soviet Russia. That produced dictators like Lenin, Stalin, Chrustchev etc.There is no democracy in communism, only tyranny.

      Mthuthuzeli - 2012-01-25 21:03

      My guilty pleasure is that I get a perverse sense of enjoyment at reading the wild-eyed posts of the right-wingers within their reality distortion world, egging each other on with ever more rabid denunciations.

  • ludlowdj - 2012-01-26 09:14

    Russia as with most of the "free" world is already a dictatorship. Many governments allow their citizens to vote, but the vote is hollow, as the candidates are all from the same class strata. The citizens are told they are controlling the country, but as they cannot get members of all the classes on the ballot, they in fact are continuing to hand the wand of power to the uppers classes, time and again. Thus, to some degree, they remain slaves to the upper classes, which determine where employment can be gained, the compensation for this employment, and control behavior by threatening to black-list any who don't obey their rules.

  • Mthuthuzeli - 2012-01-26 09:47

    Western liberals often indulge in wishful thinking about democracy and its magic powers. I wish Russia and its people well. What sustains them is not actually Western concepts of life and liberty but their own proud culture.

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