Russian election: Under Vladimir Putin, voters have no power to decide their ruler – Scotsman comment
Scottish and British politics can sometimes be depressing, as politicians hurl insults at opponents, ask softball questions of party colleagues, and call it debate. However, for all the shortcomings of our democracy, there will surely never come a day when a Prime Minister decides to ban opposition politicians from standing in an election.
Russia’s election commission has just decided that Boris Nadezhdin, an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, will not be allowed to take part in the presidential election next month. They explained that while 105,000 signatures were submitted on Nadezhdin’s candidate application form, they had decided more than 9,000 were invalid so, conveniently, he did not meet the 100,000 threshold.
Of course, Putin’s best-known political opponent, Alexei Navalny, is currently serving a politically motivated prison sentence, after he narrowly survived an assassination attempt, almost certainly carried out by Putin the Poisoner’s team of hitmen.
So when people talk about an ‘election’ in Russia, it’s nothing like the one the UK is about to have. Voters in this country still have the power to decide who rules them. Russians do not.
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