In defense of politics, Russian-style

RIA Novosti / Vladimir Rodionov
Some members of Russia’s opposition parties are crying foul over President Dmitry Medvedev’s decision to refuse to run for another term, saying that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is the most popular politician to run in the presidential elections.

Putin, 59, served as president for two consecutive terms, and was prohibited by the Russian constitution from running for a third consecutive term in the 2008 elections.

Meanwhile, Dmitry Medvedev, who also ranks high in the hearts and minds of the Russian people, said it was time to put away personal ambition and do what is necessary to win the election in 2012.

“We want to achieve the political result, to win the elections – both the parliamentary in December and presidential in March, and not to satisfy our ambitions,” the President said.

Despite the legality of the decision, some opposition members are attempting to argue that the Russian people will have no choice in such an arrangement. This is not true, says Konstantin Kosachev of State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee.

“The picture painted implies that there will be no vote between the nomination and the inauguration of the two leaders for the offices of president and prime minister,” Kosachev says. “Yet there is no question that the people will get a chance to make their choice. Alternative options, good or bad, are well-known. In any event, there will be a choice – for those who go to the polls.”

To read Konstantin Kosachev’s full comments, click here.