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MOSCOW, November 13 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev believes that democratic development is the right path for Russia.
“If I thought Russia was moving in a wrong direction I would not be here as prime minister, I would rather be somewhere else,” Medvedev told Finnish journalists on Tuesday ahead of his visit to that country.
“I believe we are developing in the right direction. Of course, there are some problems. There are economic difficulties, there might be some political problems to be solved, but still I think that our political system is developing,” he stressed.
He reminded that a number of amendments had been made to laws concerning the political system. “We have quite a different political environment now. Not six but 25 parties took part in the latest elections in Russia that were held on October 14. Well, they managed to achieve quite moderate results but the first step is the hardest, as people say. Naturally, they will earn extra political dividends, they will win popularity and, probably, will become serious political rivals at some point in the future. So, the situation is different,” Medvedev said.
He admitted that he had had certain doubts about readopting the practice of direct gubernatorial elections. “From the point of view of state administration, maybe it would be much better to stick to the former system when the president appointed top-ranking officials. But after I had spoken to various people – politicians, journalists, ordinary people, I realized just one thing: people want to elect. If they want to, let them do it. And in this case, by the way, political responsibility rests on people themselves: a dunce is elected, hence it was yourselves who voted for him or her; a good governor is elected, well, that’s good,” he said.
Medvedev said he was satisfied that the ruling party United Russia he was the leader of had won in all regions, “despite tough political competition.” “Is it going to be like that forever? I don’t think so. Very mature, experienced, tough opponents are bound to show up and maybe win. Let them do it! It is not bad. Although any party wants to uphold its positions. So, I think that in general everything is all right,” he stressed.
“The mere fact that civil society is now more active is good, and then, some complaints may be really justified and the authorities must respond to them,” he noted. At the same time, he stressed that “any claims to the authorities must be made in a legitimate and proper manner.” “If we speak about rallies or marches, they are a normal practice but they should be held in a proper place based on corresponding decision that are taken in any country, and in line with the law. If it happens this way, there is an ancient and short words for that – ‘democracy,’” he added.