MOSCOW, December 12 (Itar-Tass) —— Modern Russia “should protect the law as never before.., and protecting it, we protect Russia,” Chairman of the Russian Constitutional Court Valery Zorkin said with confidence in an interview published in the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily on Monday.
Zorkin is concerned that protesting tensions in Moscow and several other Russian cities “appeal not to the law again (as in 1993), but to something else.”
“Then Moscow, as today, faced a sharp confrontation between the supporters of the then Russian President Yeltsin and his opponents. Then as today the oppositionists accused the authorities of violating the law and the Constitution. Then as today protesting passions were actively fuelled up from abroad,” Zorkin noted. He recalled that “then these protesting passions grew into the hardest tragedy for the country: street clashes, the shelling of the parliament from the tanks and a major bloodshed... And...in the deepest undermining of that (a very weak respect to the law without any similar incidents in Russia) respect to the law, without which any democracy is impossible.”
Then Russia succeeded to evade the civil war, but “what could have been obtained in the absolutely another way before, had a bloody price and many negative aftermaths very dangerous for the country that we are experiencing up to now.” The Constitutional Court chairman believes that “one of the most hardest and painful negative phenomena for Russia is a deep gap in the legal consciousness and the law execution in the elites and the mass public.”
“Today, in contrast to 1993, we have the testimonies of a full-fledged and viable Constitution. We have the legislation, which is based on this Constitution and embraces all spheres of life. The legislation is far from being perfect, but it exists,” Zorkin pointed out.
“However, the Constitution and the laws are not enough for Russia, which failed to clear the legal hurdle amid Famusov’s tyranny and Chatsky’s growing rabidity (the characters from a famous play Wit Works Woe by Russian playwright and diplomat Alexander Griboedov – Itar-Tass). We need the force, which can prevent the massive protesting from growing into incidents, which are fraught with the threat to the very existence of our statehood. This should be the force that can bring back the situation in the elite and the society in the legal field and can avert another threat of sliding down to a national catastrophe.”
Last Saturday, the opposition, which protested against the results of the parliamentary elections, succeeded to bring dozens of thousands of people to the streets of Russian cities. At the rally in Moscow the resolution was taken with five demands: the freedom to the prisoners of conscience, the cancellation of the results of the State Duma elections, the dismissal of Chairman of the Central Elections Commission Vladimir Churov and “the investigation of his activities,” the registration of all political parties and the democratization of the legislation in this sphere and the holding of new parliamentary elections.
The organizers of the Moscow rally, which turned out to be the most massive one for more than ten years, pledged to stage a new multi-thousand rally on December 24.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said he is satisfied with the way the rallies passed, but did not agree with their slogans.
“Under the Constitution Russian citizens have the freedom of speech and the freedom of assemblies,” the president noted. “People have the right to express their position, what they did yesterday,” the president noted in his Facebook blog. “It is good that all passed under the law,” he noted.
“I do not agree either with slogans or statements made at the rallies,” Medvedev noted, adding that he gave the instructions “to investigate all reports from the polling stations over the observance of the election legislation.”