MOSCOW, March 5 (Itar-Tass) — Improvement of Russia’s political system should become a priority task for Vladimir Putin during the new term of his presidency, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev said Monday.
“That’s the main thing, I think,” he said in an interview with Itar-Tass.
“He said many things regarding the economy, education and culture in various speeches,” Gorbachev said. “Everything is crying out for modernization. We’ve driven ourselves into a deadlock and it’s time for us to get out of it somehow.”
He said he feels confident that it will be impossible to translate into life the changes that have been announced unless there is an improvement in democratic procedures.
“Quite naturally, everything that concerns the industries, other branches of the economy, education, culture, and the defense sphere should be accomplished, and it’s important that ordinary people should play a role in this process, too,” Gorbachev said.
“It’s important that the rank-and-file citizens roll up their sleeves to take part in the process and gear up their creative endeavors to the maximum, because the whole thing won’t work without it,” he said.
“To adopt momentous decisions, we need proper work on the part of the Duma and the judiciary,” Gorbachev said. “People need it. A real renovation is needed.”
He believes that all of this is possible in the current situation.
“He /Putin/ should do it in a way that would set all the instruments of democracy into action and, most importantly, there’s a need to bridge the huge gap that has appeared between state power and the people.”
“That’s the right way to act, not the one where everybody would rush to fight with pitchforks or rifles or pens or computers in the hands,” Gorbachev said.
“Another priority task is to mend our electoral system because now we have all these knotty methods of elections with advanced-date voting or voting inside labor staffs, and that’s total mess,” he said.
“If Putin doesn’t do all of this, we’ll never cope with the tasks he has set forth, and he personally realizes this,” Gorbachev said.
“If he and his supporters do realize this and draw the apparent conclusions, if they don’t just think something like, well, the real thing is to win, then everything will work out OK, because otherwise there’ll be full discrediting of government,” he said. “There’s no kidding the people.”
“As for now, people will support everything so that we could get out of this deadlock, and we if waste the next six years away, then I just don’t know how much time all of this will take to clear up.”