Sunday, March 2nd, 2008 | 12:47 pm

Glimpse into Russian Democracy

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Democracy isn’t always easy. In the Russian Federation, due to presidential laws, Putin is forced to hand over Kremlin power to his successor, Dimitry Medvedev (”United Russia”, Единая Россия) . On the surface, the 2008 presidential elections appear like any other democratic elections. But in fact, Kremlin opposition are selected dubious characters narrowed down to three other parties. The liberal democratic party has a strong nationalist drive with a choleric leading candidate, and the communist party dreams of re-installing the old soviet regime.

For holders of a Russian Federation passport and related visitors – such as the author of this article – the presidential Election presented a rare opportunity to check out the insides of the Russian Embassy Unter den Linden. Constructed in the early 1950s, it has been a famous example of stalinist neo-classicism later influencing further GDR administrational buildings. Below the red star of the Red Square’s Borovitskaya Tower shining from out of the stained glass in the major hall, voters and visitors crowded to support or defy re-election of “United Russia”. Voters reported that “at least he [Medvedev] has been known as being true to himself.” Is it asking too much to hope that Russia alters its course towards a more liberal, democratic state within Medvedevs term in office?

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