Friday, October 17, 2014

Window on Eurasia: Zhirinovsky Calls for Ending Direct Election of Russian President

Paul Goble


            Staunton, October 17 – Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the frequently outrageous leader of the wildly misnamed Liberal Democratic Party of Russia who nonetheless often serves as a bellwether of Russian politics, says that Russia should dispense with direct elections for the Russian presidency because “the democratic costume is too tight for Russia.”


            In remarks to the Second Youth Legislative Forum at the Russian Academy of Economics and State Service, the LDPR leader said that there is no need for direct election of the Russian president. Instead, he can be chosen “with the help of electors from all the territories” just as the Moscow patriarch is (


            Zhirinovsky said he is “an opponent of anarchic democracy” and that the country needs to dispense with its democratic clothing which he said is “too tight” and don again “an imperial costume,” something that would involve “a change in the style of administration” because “in a democracy and a republic, it is impossible to ensure the carrying out of laws.”


            In reporting this latest outrage from the LDPR leader which is clearly part of a general effort to extend Vladimir Putin’s reign to the end of his life, Anatoly Baranov, the editor of the FORUM.MSK portal, says that Russia needs “a committee for the defense of the republic” because some like Zhirinovsky are drifting so far in the direction of monarchism.


            That trend, he suggested could “end with some kind of theocracy, when the chief of state will not only retain civil power for his lifetime but will be converted into ‘a living god.’”  And Baranov cites Boris Nemtsov’s recent report that Putin and his aides have been complaining about acts they view as an affront to his “highness.”


            Prosecutors, if they are interested in protecting the Russian constitution, should be looking into all this now lest they be surprised in the near future about how far the Kremlin has gone to prepare Russia for the restoration of an emperor, Baranov suggests.


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