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Medvedev says talk of authoritarian trend in Russia not serious

November 28, 2011, 20:57 UTC+3
He disagreed that the future of Russia is predetermined for the next 12 years. “People will make the final assessment on December 4,” Medvedev said
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YEKATERINBURG, November 28 (Itar-Tass) —— President Dmitry Medvedev said all talk about an authoritarian trend in Russia is not serious.

“Different things have happened in the country over the last 12 years. Some were absolutely necessary as the state would simply have fallen apart without them,” Medvedev said at a meeting with mass media of the Urals Federal District in Yekaterinburg on Monday, November 28.

“It had its cost, but it was done absolutely correctly,” he added.

However he believes that “it is not serious to say that some authoritarian trend has developed, that is has put everything and everyone under control because there is no such trend,” Medvedev said.

“We have succeeded over the past 12 years in leading Russia to a level that is fundamentally different from the one in the 1990s. It has become a top league country, a country that is listened to not only because it has missiles but also because it is a country where pensions and salaries are growing.” He said.

He stressed that “there was no rejection of the rights and freedoms proclaimed in the Constitution” and “no democratic institutes changed”, referring to gubernatorial elections as an example.

“Some think it is right, others think it is wrong, but this does not mean that the Constitution has been trampled upon,” the president said.

“The state system has not undergone any radical changes,” he added.

He disagreed that the future of Russia is predetermined for the next 12 years. “People will make the final assessment on December 4,” Medvedev said.

State Duma deputies will work for the next five years, and if United Russia’s presidential candidate Vladimir Putin wins the change to run the country, he will stay in office for six years. “But no one knows beyond that,” he said.

“If the party has a majority, it will represent the interests of the majority. If its policy differs from what the majority thinks it should be, it will lose that majority,” the president said.

“That there is a political force that can be re-elected three times a row is not a catastrophe,” Medvedev said.

He believes that eight years in power is not a big term for a political party.

“United Russia was formed as a political party in 2003. Today is 2011, and it's not such a long term,” Medvedev said earlier.

He admitted though that the question is how much United Russia corresponds to people's understanding of how Russia should develop. “In my opinion, it does. But the final answer to this question will be given on December 4,” the president said.

He believes that “it's good” that there are big parties in Russia. “Is it good that one party has a majority? It's a matter of taste, you know. That's good for carrying out a certain state policy, let me tell you frankly,” he said, adding that it is necessary to rely on the majority when adopting laws and recalled the 1990s when a large number of reforms were blocked.

Medvedev said a situation where people vote “out of despair” was bad. “I am convinced that we will create a system at the next elections or those after them that will probably be more like the systems existing in other countries. But as far as the current political life is concerned, I think it perfectly fits into the standards of European democracy,” the president said.

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