Vladimir Putin had a very hot summer indeed. His activities frightened even his staunch followers, who thought that the prime minister can burn out by the beginning of the preelection race. However, Mr. Putin is full of energy. He has recently found another inspiration - to make primaries mandatory for all parties. The announcement came as a shock for opposition activists because in this case they lose all their chances to be elected.
The tandem of Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin has not decided yet, who is going to struggle for presidency, but the situation with parliamentary elections is clear. The ruling United Russia party began to follow the example of the "most democratic country" in the world in 2007. The party decided to hold primary elections to the State Duma on a regular basis. This year, the main faction of the country has formed a coalition with United People's Front to make the lists of participants.
The results inspired Putin, and he put forward the idea to make primaries mandatory for all parties. This is very typical of Putin - he obviously does not feel comfortable in the office of the head of the Russian government. Putin wants to rule the whole country, not just a group of ministers, who simply wait in the wings.
There is nothing difficult to make Putin's dream about primaries come true. The number of United Russia MPs will guarantee the approval of all required amendments. However, liberal democrats and communists may lose access to the Russian parliament. Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Gennady Zyuganov do not have Putin's resources.
They have already set out their concerns about Putin's fantasies. The Communist Party, for example, has its own structure of selection through party conferences of all levels, where priority is attached to the authority of a certain person both in the faction and among the people.
It is an open secret that primaries are held as a show to let people participate in political celebrations. Why did the prime minister receive so much criticism? Medvedev can not boast of having a team of PR specialists. Moreover, Putin's influence is still strong both inside the country and abroad. Putin makes other leaders listen to him. As a result, Russia has been developing ties with the European Union and post-industrial states of Eastern Asia very fast during the recent years.
For many Russians, primaries will give a real chance to participate in the construction of the political system of the country. The people will get to know the principles behind the personnel policy. Many opposition parties do not have transparent mechanisms which they use to make their lists. Many people simply do not know the procedure of candidate nomination. People want bread and circuses, and Putin can give it to them. He has been successful at everything so far.
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