Gorbachev urges Russia election re-runDecember 24th, 2011 - 6:06 am ICT by IANS
Moscow, Dec 24 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev has called for a re-run of Russia’s disputed parliamentary elections.
In an interview with the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, Gorbachev said a demand to hold new elections “remained”, more than two weeks after the Dec 4 polls which saw Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s ruling United Russia party just retain parliamentary majority amid widespread allegations of fraud.
“How can you keep this Duma for another five years during such a difficult time in history?” Gorbachev said.
Thousands of people are expected to turn out at the For Fair Elections rally Saturday.
Citing late Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Gorbachev said: “You cannot build your future on lies.”
Gorbachev, who is expected to address Saturday’s rally, said the protest movement should also start to focus on the March 4 presidential elections.
“We should only give our votes to those candidates who are calling for the annulment of the (parliamentary) elections,” he said.
A poll by the “Kremlin-friendly” Public Opinion Foundation showed 26 percent respondents wanted a re-run of the elections, with 40 percent saying they were against it. The poll of 1,500 people was published Thursday.
In his final state-of-the-nation address Thursday, President Dmitry Medvedev proposed a host of far-reaching reforms, including reinstating direct governors’ elections, in an apparent bid to appease the protesters.
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