Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Putin not afraid of presidential vote in 2012

Former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was not afraid of the presidential election in March. Putin is ready to do everything so that the election is conducted honestly.

"From my conversation with Putin, I realized that he was not afraid of the vote on March 4. He is ready to take all necessary measures to hold honest elections. I think it should be used to conduct immaculate elections on March 4," Kudrin said in an interview with the Vedomosti newspaper.

It has been reported recently that Alexei Kudrin was going to create a new liberal party. This, in particular, was said by the former head of the Moscow region branch of the Right Cause party, Boris Nadezhdin. He even left his party to be able to join Kudrin's new organization.

Kudrin himself, however, said that he was not conducting negotiations regarding the establishment of the party.

In any case, for some reason it is considered that the former finance minister is able to create a functioning liberal party, although his skills in creating political organizations can only be discussed in theory.

In the meantime, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stated that the government had done perfect work in 2011. Medvedev made this statement at the year-end meeting of the Cabinet.

Dmitry Medvedev reminded of the economic indicators, which put Russia ahead of several developed countries. It goes about the GDP growth, the reduction of the inflation rate and the decrease of the unemployment.

The President set out a hope that the government would continue its efficient work in the coming months. The work conducted by the government helped Russia overcome the consequences of the global financial crisis, the Russian news service said.

"We have serious tests ahead of us, and I am sure that to counter them, we have all the powers and opportunities," said Dmitry Medvedev.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin stated the authorities do not intend to annul the election results to the State Duma, which took place on December 4, 2011. Putin released the statement several days after the record-setting mass protest meeting in Moscow. One could dispute the election results only at court, he said at the meeting of the All-Russian People's Front. Putin, being a presidential candidate, promised to conduct honest and fair vote on March 4, 2012, when Russia elects its new president, Interfax said.

As stressed by the Prime Minister, the State Duma of the sixth convocation has already started working. There is no sense to discuss the possibilities to revise the election results. 

"The elections to the Duma are over. All parliamentary factions have started working, the speaker has been elected. The Duma is working. And there is no sense to discuss anything about any revisions", Putin said.

Commenting on the recent protest actions against falsifications of parliamentary elections, the prime minister criticized the opposition for the absence of the program of action. He also said that the opposition only had one goal - to devalue the elections. According to Putin, the actions of the opposition leaders correspond to the "Trotskyite" slogan: "The movement is everything, the goal is nothing."

At the same time, Vladimir Putin offered to conduct a transparent presidential election in March 2012 and discuss the technology on the Internet to achieve this goal. According to him, one needs to "listen to people and their constructive suggestions." The prime minister said that he personally needed the transparency of the vote to see the support of the people.

"We must, of course, remain entirely within the law, - Putin said. - There is no self-activity. Everything that the law allows and requires needs to be done to the maximum. One should turn to people and social organizations and listen to what they have to say," the prime minister said.

Transparent ballot boxes and webcams will be used to assess the support of the people. The online broadcast of the vote will cost the country 14 billion rubles.

Previously, the Prime Minister put forward a suggestion to the Ministry for Communication to outfit poll stations across Russia with web cameras. Putin also offered to install transparent ballot boxes at poll stations, Interfax reports. 

Putin said that political parties should be involved in the election process at all stages of control. "I suggested all political forces represented in the parliament, could take part in the election process during the presidential vote, so that they had an opportunity to control the entire process. The cameras would work 24/7 showing the poll stations and the places where they count the votes," he said.

The head of the government acknowledged that the installation of web cameras was an expensive task. However, Putin stressed that it could be possible to use the cameras after the election too.

"We believe that once this system is established, it will not be taken apart and thrown away. It will be used by the state, municipalities, schools and libraries - for their needs. The system will thus serve for people," he said.

The costs to install the web cameras will exceed 14 billion rubles, ITAR-TASS reported. The Ministry for Communications shall complete the work at poll stations by mid-February.