Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Putin - Democracy's Man in Moscow

No, I obviously don't think Putin is a good democrat. But his recent manoeuvering might just help Russia return to a modicum of democracy. Why? Check out my post over at the Harvard International Review Blog:

Here's the first two paras:

It’s been a long while since good news for democracy has come out of Russia. Last week, however, brought two interesting developments. First, Garry Kasparov – a charismatic and popular former chess champion – decided to stand as the opposition candidate in the upcoming Presidential elections. Then, Vladimir Putin – Russia’s cold and stern, yet eerily even more popular President – implied that he may seek to become Prime Minister when he has to step down from his current post.

In my view, only one of these decisions has real potential to be good for civic freedoms in Russia. Which? Counterintuitively, it is Putin’s self-serving political calculation, not Kasparov’s well-meaning idealism, which gives me hope.

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