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Vladimir Putin’s election agents to meet with president on regular basis

December 10, 2012, 12:06 UTC+3
It has been decided to make the institution of agents permanent, all the more as most of them will join the presidential movement All-Russia Popular Front
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Ahead of a meeting with the president, 550 people who were Vladimir Putin’s election agents at the March presidential election were invited on Sunday to Moscow to meet with the Kremlin and government leadership. They discussed seven pre-election articles of the president, and will from now on meet with their former candidate on a regular basis.

It has been decided to make the institution of agents permanent, all the more as most of them will join the presidential movement All-Russia Popular Front, the Kommersant daily writes. They will act pro bono. Yesterday, the agents took part in the work of seven panels, each discussing one of the president’s seven pre-election articles. High-ranking Kremlin and government officials took part in sessions of each of the panels.

Thus in the Democracy and the Quality of State panel, president’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov spoke sympathetically about the people attending mass rallies of 2011–2012. Recollecting troublesome times of policy of all-permissiveness preceding the 2000s he stated that a new social class of “well-fed”, ”comfortably feeling people” emerged in cities with the population over one million people.

“The ‘well-fed’ grew dissatisfied as they wanted to invest in their state, in democracy, wanted to be involved in the management of the country, in its future, but at this point our state stalled, as our state is inert in its nature,” the newspaper quoted him as saying. Peskov noted however that each of these people is dissatisfied with “small things” – the absence of a kindergarten, bad education at schools, bribes.

Over the past year, Kremlin officials have been referring to protesters as to “Bolotnaya opposition” (named after the rally in Bolotnaya Square), the Kommersant reminds the readers. The tone has changed after political analysts announced publicly about the end of a new protest wave. This thesis was fixed on Sunday by the head of VTsIOM pollster, Valery Fedotov, who said the ratings of the authorities and the United Russia Party have returned to their previous high. However, the authorities don’t flatter themselves. The head of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, warned yesterday that “the danger of the ‘orange revolution’ remains topical and will remain in the future” both in Russia and in CIS member countries.

Speakers also pointed to persons responsible for certain problems. Thus, Dmitry Peskov protected civil servants on the whole, admitting the existence of certain “rogues” among them. By the way, he urged those who question the strictness of punishment for those involved in the Rosoboronservis case, to wait for the court decision.

A source from the presidential administration told the Nezavisimaya Gazeta that election agents are to become the second after the All-Russia Popular Front functional chain connecting the head of state with the society. The question is how ready the links in that chain are for “constructively criticizing” the authorities if they initially enjoy trust-based relations.

“Putin is a bit afraid of communicating with people. In order to be able to speak rather freely, he summons agents who know the line that must not be crossed,” the head of the Centre for Political Technologies, Igor Bunin, is confident. It is likely that censorship towards the election agents will sharply decrease, and the president will get a freer but maximally benevolent audience for communication, the expert notes.


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