Monday, December 03, 2007

The Russian Strongman

Dry Bones cartoon: Playing Russian Roulette with Russian Democracy.
The battle for and against democracy is being waged, not just in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East . . . the very latest news deals with would-be dictators Putin and Chavez.

In Russia:

Party’s Triumph Raises Question of Putin’s Plans
"MOSCOW, Dec. 2 -With President Vladimir V. Putin’s opponents persistently hobbled by the Kremlin, his party swept Sunday to the kind of landslide long predicted for the parliamentary elections. Yet the results, while a triumph for Mr. Putin, also usher in a new era of political instability for Russia.

Even as Mr. Putin has been accumulating power and popularity, he has been stirring deep uncertainty about his intentions, making it all but impossible to answer a fundamental question about Russia’s future: Come next spring, who will be in charge?

Yielding to the constitutional limit of two consecutive terms, Mr. Putin has said he will not be a candidate for president in March. But he has declared that he will retain significant influence, whether as prime minister, leader of his party, United Russia, or a vague role described here as 'father of the nation.'" - more

Meanwhile in Latin America:

Venezuela Votes No On Chavez Forever
"(CBS/AP) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez suffered a stinging defeat in a vote on constitutional changes that would have let him run for re-election indefinitely.

Chavez called it a "photo finish" immediately after the results were announced. Tibisay Lucena, chief of the National Electoral Council, announced early Monday that voters defeated the proposed constitutional changes by 51 percent to 49 percent." - more

Labels: , , , , , ,