MOSCOW, August 17 (Itar-Tass) — Former Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev said on Wednesday he was not satisfied with the way the country develops. “Answering in short, I will say I am not content,” Gorbachev said at a news conference.
According to him, “there are so many programs and speeches that you don’t have time to read,” while “in the essence the current policy is movement in the opposite direction”.
In particular, the former Soviet leader is not satisfied with the demographic situation, poverty, reforms in the education system and the situation in the medical sector.
“It is written in the Constitution that education is affordable and free, and what is being done now is only for the rich,” he said. “Medicines are costly, and besides imported, and on their way here somebody’s profits grow,” Gorbachev stressed.
He believes the transformation of Russia’s political system is the main danger. “Problems must be solved, but they will not let solve them as long as this system of state power exists,” he said, adding that the situation has changed a lot after 1993.
“There are no direct gubernatorial elections any longer, no deputies are elected from single-seat electoral districts,” and things will be the way the party wants, he said.
Gorbachev believes the setting up of the All-Russia People’s Front will not trigger an inflow of fresh forces. “We need honest elections, but administrative resources vote here,” he said. “It is necessary to make people feel that something depends on them, while we are getting some new fronts. That is no good at all,” Gorbachev stressed.
He also believes “there must be a renewal of the top leadership”. However, Gorbachev declined to answer the question whom he would like to see as Russian president after the 2012 election. “Why then hold elections if I have to explain,” he parried a reporter’s query.
Gorbachev stressed that he has always supported and supports Vladimir Putin, particularly when he visits western countries. “With the situation we have in Russia, totalitarian methods cannot be avoided,” he explained. “But if this grows into a totalitarian regime, not a separate action caused by the situation, these are different things,” he added.
“I want us to move along the path of a democratic transit,” Gorbachev stressed. “United Russia (Party) must give up monopoly, and must not repeat the worst version of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU),” the former Soviet president stressed.