Sunday, December 04, 2005

Moscow Votes

Today is a snowy and grey day on the banks of the Dnjepr in Kiev where I happen to be at the moment. And I would expect the weather to be roughly the same up in the woodlands towards the northeast where Moscow is located.

Today is election day in Moscow. And every election offer something of interest.

The most interesting fact about this election is that one has banned the ultra-nationalist Rodina party from taking part in it. The reason given for the ban is a TV spot produced by the party that has a clear anti-immigration message.

But that can hardly be the real reason. I haven't seen the TV spot, but I seriously doubt that it is much different from the general level of the message coming from Rodina.

The alternative interpretation is that Rodina - which to a very large extent was a creation of the Kremlin before the last Duma elections - might have been too succesful in the election. It's a child of the Kremlin that one is having problems controlling.

And that unfortunately says something about the political trends in Russia today.

Of interest will be to see how the combined efforts of the liberal reform parties SPS and Yabloko are rewarded by the voters. Together they need to pass the 10 % hurdly in order to get represented in the Moscow City Duma.

If they succeed, it could point to the possibility of them joining forces before the 2007 Duma elections, which would be a most welcome development.

We'll see. In the meantime Kiev is consumed by speculations about it's upcoming March 26 elections to the Rada - the Ukrainian parliament.

More about that later. Today it's Moscow's polling day.

Kremlin’s Hopes Pinned on Moscow Election - NEWS - MOSNEWS.COM