Monday, December 03, 2007

Putin makes his move

I still expect Vladimir Putin's exit to be vertical and not horizontal.

The election has been stolen, as expected, but the battle lines amongst the Siloviki are already being drawn up, and even if he *is* able to transfer some powers and then become PM, it is inevitable that his position will be lessened. The strains within the regime will become more obvious, so I suspect today will be seen as something of a high water mark for Putinism. Sooner or later a law based system needs to emerge, and with oil down $10 this week, it may not even be too long before Russian inefficiency and the cupidity of the Russian State begin to show up in further weakness, rather than the boom/strength that most are forecasting on the basis of the oil wealth transfer.

In short, Although the timing is highly problematic, I think that there are political threats that will add to the demographic crisis to undermine progress, even while in the short term those who think that Putin represents stability and that the commodity/oil money will not slacken off soon (Russia bulls) will clearly be in the driving seat as far as sentiment is concerned.

Some may say that the "result" of the poll creates greater stability- in my view it weakens the long term security of the political system. Ultimately the drive for stability will end up undermining it.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes an election with a muzzled media, opposition beaten up, opponents charged suspiciously quickly with offences. A joke of a "democratic mandate." Oh hang on a sec that would be Georgia, so that's Ok then by Cicero. The Economist condemns Sash and Putin equally so why not you then

Lepdius

Anonymous said...

Who was the election stolen from? Even without all the "administrative resource" shenanigans, UR would have had at least 50% of the vote, and the liberals nowhere close to the 7% mark needed. The results correlate fairly closely to the pre-election polls (and The Levada Center is not some Putinist outfit). IMO, Just Russia may have had a bit of a lift to push it through. So we have what we have.

Cicero said...

Lepidus, While I know too many Conservatives seem happy to back their ally Vladimir Putin, even you can tell the difference between a duly monitored free and fair election, which is what we can expect in Tbilisi next month and the riduclous farce that we have just endured in Russia. That the Saakashvili government is not beyond criticism does not make Putin a democrat.

This is not just about a stolen election or even about a government, it is about a system that has stripped opposition of any possibility to become a government.

As you can clearly see, Saakashvili could be defeated at the ballot box, Putinism can not be (yet).