Putin: Perils of a piecemeal parliament

RIA Novosti / Alexsey Druginyn
Vladimir Putin has underlined the critical importance of the United Russia party getting the maximum number of votes in December’s elections. Otherwise, he said, parliament will stop being effective, with catastrophic results for Russia.

The prime minister issued his warning while meeting the leaders of United Russia’s faction in the State Duma on Thursday. Vladimir Putin, who heads the ruling party, said Russia could face an economic crisis similar to the one currently rocking Europe and the USA if United Russia fails to win enough seats to give it a parliamentary majority.

“What is happening at our European friends’ places and with our partners in the USA is, among other things, a result of the absence of consolidation in society which comes about when leading political forces cannot come to an agreement,” Putin said. “I hope this will not happen in our country. In this connection, I would like to draw your attention to the necessity to get the maximum result at the forthcoming elections,” the PM added.

“If we fragment our parliament, it will not be able to make the necessary decisions in the necessary time. If we only make promises and live at the next generation’s expense, at some point this will drag us to the line behind which our friends and partners in Europe now find themselves,” Putin said.

Currently, United Russia holds the constitutional majority in the lower house where it has 315 seats out of 450. The party aims to retain that majority after the December 4 elections.

Deputy Duma speaker and senior party member Oleg Morozov said that United Russia’s task is “to preserve the opportunity to work efficiently,” and that requires holding the parliamentary majority. He expressed hope that the party would manage to achieve this electoral goal.