Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 01 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Coverage of Gaza in the Israeli media

Read more

REPORTERS

1914-1918: The Depths of Hell

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 01 August 2014

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

Read more

#THE 51%

World War One: The war that changed women’s lives

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Ségolène Royal goes for green

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

A look back at some of the Observers' best stories

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

  • Hamas denies capturing Israeli soldier as Gaza truce lies in tatters

    Read more

  • Scores killed in China factory explosion

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

    Read more

  • Police 'chokehold' caused NYC death, coroner rules

    Read more

  • French most keen to erase their online footprint, says Google

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Rogue general denies Islamist seizure of Benghazi

    Read more

  • Ugandan court strikes down anti-gay legislation

    Read more

  • 1914-1918: The Depths of Hell

    Read more

  • Regional summit to tackle deadly Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • French hospital to open wine bar for terminally ill patients

    Read more

  • Video: Tipping is dying out in French café culture

    Read more

  • €2.5 million in cocaine ‘disappears’ from Paris police HQ

    Read more

  • Appeal court keeps French rogue trader Kerviel in jail

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • Ukrainian army suffers losses in separatist attack

    Read more

Europe

Putin accepts presidential nomination but warns West

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-11-27

Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (pictured, left) accepted his party’s nomination to run for the presidency in March 2012. Putin also warned the West to not interfere in Russian politics ahead of parliamentary polls set for December 4.

REUTERS - Vladimir Putin accepted his ruling party’s nomination on Sunday to return to Russia’s presidency, while accusing foreigners of funding his political opponents in a reminder of the anti-Western rhetoric that characterised his years in power.

Putin, president from 2000-2008 and now prime minister, is expected to easily recapture the presidency in an election in March. But opinion polls indicate a parliamentary vote in a week could loosen his United Russia party’s domination of politics.

The timing of his Putin’s nomination for the presidency – two months after he first said he would run – appeared aimed at giving United Russia a boost in the Dec. 4 parliamentary vote at a time when the ruling party’s support has flagged.

“Of course, I accept the proposal with gratitude,” Putin said, confidently accepting the nomination before a crowd of 10,000 supporters chanting his name in a Moscow sports arena. The congress was broadcast live on television.

Putin said that ahead of both votes “representatives of some foreign countries are gathering those they are paying money to, so-called grant recipients, to instruct them and assign work in order to influence the election campaign themselves”.

He said any such activity was a “wasted effort” because Russians would reject foreign-funded politicians, comparing them to Judas, the traitor of Jesus in the bible.

Foreign governments “would do better to pay off their debts with this money and stop pursuing inefficient and costly economic policies,” he said in a dig at economic troubles in Europe and the United States.

Putin, 59, was constitutionally obliged to leave the presidency after serving two consecutive four-year terms, but has remained Russia’s most powerful man as prime minister. The constitution now permits him to serve two more consecutive terms of six years, which could see him stay president until 2024.

During his presidency, Putin often suggested Western countries were funding his opponents. Competing political forces have been effectively sidelined in the 11 years since he first came to power.

Choreographed

In a carefully choreographed performance, Putin traded praise with his hand-picked presidential successor, Dmitry Medvedev, who is expected to take over the prime minister’s post after stepping aside for Putin to return to the presidency.

Support for United Russia would boost Putin’s performance in next year’s presidential election, Medvedev said.

The more convincing our result is on Dec. 4, the more certain and more solid our victory will be at (presidential) elections in March of next year,” Medvedev told an audience packed with famous public figures and throngs of young people.

Putin is Russia’s most popular politician, credited by the public for ending the steep economic decline of the post-Soviet period. But his approval rating has slipped in the past year, standing at 67 percent in the most recent survey by independent pollster Levada-Center, down from near 80 percent in 2010.

Laying out the case for his return to the presidency, Putin attacked rival political forces, blaming the Communists for the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union and saying those in power in the 1990s had “brought the country to the edge of the abyss”.

Since then, he said, the government had managed to “return the country its strength, self-assurance and respect in the world. All this was done with the participation and direct support of United Russia.”

“This gives me the right to say that we know better than anyone else what to do and how to do it,” he said to applause.

The plan for Putin to return to the presidency was laid out at a similarly grandiose meeting on Sept. 24. It was met with mixed reactions among Russians, with many in the middle class voicing fears of stagnation, and anger that the political future seemed to have been decided behind closed doors.

Dissatisfaction with the political landscape and United Russia’s dominance was illustrated when Anatoly Chubais, an architect of the country’s market reforms in the 1990s, announced he would not be voting in the upcoming elections.

“For the first time in 20 years it seems that I am among those who have no one to vote for. Therefore for the first time I am not going to vote,” Chubais, who now heads Russia’s state-run nanotechnology company, wrote in his blog on Saturday.

Putin’s nomination came after a series of admiring speeches from speakers ranging from politicians and military officers to cultural figures. A southern farmer raising 19 children stuttered with nerves as she recommended Putin’s nomination.

“Russia needs a leader – one who is brave, strong, smart and capable not only of protecting the rights and freedoms of citizens but of reminding everyone of their responsibilities,” said Stanislav Govorukhin, a politically conservative filmmaker.
 

Date created : 2011-11-27

  • RUSSIA

    Russia sets presidential election day for March 4

    Read more

  • RUSSIA

    Gorbachev slams Putin's planned Kremlin comeback

    Read more

  • RUSSIA

    Medvedev calls election in December

    Read more

COMMENT(S)