December 3, 2011

Russia heading into 'free' elections.

If there's one item in the news before the coming Russian election that proves the country is no longer en route to a democracy, despite elections, this might be it.

Via BBC News;
The leader of Russia's only independent election monitor was detained for several hours, in a move she described as government pressure on the group ahead of Sunday's parliamentary vote.

Golos leader Lilya Shibanova was held at Moscow's main airport after refusing to hand over her laptop "for checking".

On Friday, the group was fined for allegedly violating election law.

Russian MPs have questioned why Golos, a foreign-funded organisation, is allowed to monitor Russian elections.

Golos (meaning "voice" or "vote" in English) is a widely respected election watchdog funded by the EU and US. It provides training for observers and runs a website compiling complaints of voting violations.

By Friday, it had recorded over 5,000 complaints related to Sunday's election, many involving the politically dominant United Russia, which is chaired by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

This raises questions about how George Bush was able to look into Putin's eyes and get a sense of his soul. He must have been wearing rose colored glasses.

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