Home > Archives (2006 on) > 2007 > December 1, 2007 > ’Grapes-are-sour’ Syndrome

Mainstream, Vol XLV, No 50

’Grapes-are-sour’ Syndrome

Monday 3 December 2007, by Chandra Sen

Russia is going to polls this Sunday, December 2: the elections to the State Duma, the powerful Lower House of the Russian parliament, are due on that day. Just before these elections the country’s President, Vladimir Putin, has come under severe attack from the West primarily the US, with Washington and its allies launching an anti-Putin tirade based on the time-worn arguments dished out by the fractured pro-West Opposition within Russia. The principal criticism against Putin is that he is trying to manipulate the elections.

The majority of Russians, despite the US propaganda, are well aware of the fact that Vladimir Putin is not trying to extend his tenure as the head of state: he is no going to contest the presidential election to seek a third term in office. The Russian people in general, unlike the anti-Putin lobby among the country’s elite, fully back the steps he has taken to develop and enrich democracy with new content as well as his decisive moves to strengthen the culture of law and the legal processes in the state. Being the guarantor of the Constitution he does not intend to violate the Constitution under any pretext regardless of US media reports to the contrary.

According to Putin, “law, order and democracy” are the most important parameters ensuring the effectiveness of his power. This is the source of his popularity among the people. That is why he decided to enter the parliamentary polls leading the “United Russia” party. Promoting these slogans as the goals of his programme, as these ideas evoked a positive response from the people, Putin has used his political authority and presi-dential power to secure legitimate popular demo-cratic mandate for his party through his trans-parent election campaign.

Frustrated in its efforts to stall Russia’s overall advance during Putin’s presidency, the West in general, and the US in particular, is using every means at its disposal to delegitimise the Russian parliamentary elections. Putin has recently accused the US of influencing the OSCE not to send its monitoring arm, the ODIHR, to observe the polls. In the words of the Russian President, “actions such as these cannot wreck the elections in Russia. Their aim is to deprive the elections of their legitimacy—that is absolutely clear.”

The US and Western behaviour clearly brings out the ‘grapes-are-sour’ syndrome.

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