Western observers criticised Russia's weekend presidential election on Monday as neither free nor fair, but said its outcome broadly reflected the will of the people. France, UK and Germany congratulated Dmitry Medvedev. Romain Goguelin reports.
The day after the victory of Dmitry Medvedev in
The designated successor of Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Medvedev, was elected president of
“The results of Putin’s party, United Russia, had to be higher than their results in December’s legislative elections, but lower than the numbers Putin received in his last presidential election,” he specified.
The report by PACE, which sent many observers to Russia, also noted that there was a problem concerning the registration of the candidates – liberal opponent and ex-Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov was specifically not allowed to get on the ballot. According to Vitali Dymarski, “there was no opposition in this election. All the candidates were part of the system.”
The West congratulates the new Russian president
In spite of the revelations of the European mission, few European countries criticised the results. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso “congratulated” the president-elect, who takes over on May 7 and is expected to appoint Vladimir Putin as prime minister. The White House also avoided commenting on irregularities noted during the Russian elections.
José Manuel Barroso did not criticise the way in which Dmitry Medvedev was elected. He hopes, above all, to benefit from the new president and re-start relations between the European Union and
German Chancellor Angel Merkel has declared she wants “to speak personally” with Dmitry Medvedev “as soon as possible.” She may visit
In France, according to a member of Medvedev’s entourage quoted by Interfax news agency, French President Nicolas Sarkozy “cordially congratulated” the Russian president-elect for a “convincing victory.” However, according to an official source at Elysée, Sarkozy invited his Russian counterpart to “visit him in
Many arrested in Moscow
The election of Dmitry Mevedev is “illegitimate,” affirmed the always-losing opposition leader Garry Kasparov, head of the Other Russia movement. “We do not recognise the legitimacy of the designation of Medvedev” to the post of president, he declared Monday in
In the Russian capital, clashes took place between police and opposition groups who tried to participate in an unauthorised gathering. Many people where questioned, including the Nikita Belykh, head of the liberal SPS party.
In addition, Maxim Reznik, who directs the liberal Iabloko party in
For Garry Kasparov, “on March 3 begins the fight against the illegitimate regime.”
Date created : 2008-03-03