Putin calls Russians to vote, slams opponents
In a TV address, Putin stressed that the election is wide open and without electoral support the governing United Russia party will not be able to continue its successful leadership.
“The country is entering a period of complete renewal of the legislative and executive power. It is now crucial to maintain the continuity of our course, to deliver all our promises to the people,” he said.
Putin believes the Parliamentary election will set the tone for the future Presidential election of 2008.
He also warned that the people who failed to protect Russia from poverty and insecurity in the past are eager to return to power. This cannot be allowed, Putin said, and it's up to the people to stop it.
“If we do want to live with dignity, we cannot allow people to return to power who governed the country with such failure and who now want to reshape the plan for Russia’s development supported by the people, to take us back to the times of humiliation, dependence and decay,” Putin said.
Eleven parties will compete for 450 seats in the Russian State Duma. Mr Putin heads United Russia's list for Sunday's parliamentary election.
Explaining Putin's forceful appeal for votes, RT's political commentator Peter Lavelle pointed out that Putin was behind Russia's current stability.
“He wants United Russia as a party because he believes it can continue his mission, what he has accomplished over the last years,” said Peter Lavelle.
Political analyst of Russia Profile Magazine Dmitry Babich says stability at home and abroad was a key theme of Putin's speech.
“The message Putin is trying to convey is stability: if you vote for United Russia – the country will stay on the same course that it is on now,” assured Dmitry Babich.