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Russian opposition to pick unified Presidential candidate

A couple of stories have come out this week, saying that The Other Russia, an umbrella group of opposition parties, are meeting soon to pick a unified Presidential candidate to oppose any Kremlin-backed candidate in the March 2008.

The Guardian say they will be meeting in March.  Garry Kasparaov, however, says they’re meeting in July.

Whatever the date turns out to be, I for one will be mightily impressed if Russia’s disparate opposition parties do manage to pick one Presidential candidate, let alone stand united behind him throughout an entire election campaign.

Still, if I had to pick one candidate, I’d say that, if they’re going to unite behind anyone, it’ll be Mikhail Kasyanov, the former Prime Minister.  From the list of available candidates I’ve seen so far, he’s the only one who even approaches heavyweight status.


  • Kasyanov is the only one with even a shred of credibility and even thats debatable. He hasnt a hope-ordinary Russians dont like him. He seems like an amiable enough man though that’s pretty useless in Moscow.

  • Writing at his blog some months ago, Edward Lucas soured on Kasyanov for having a foreign policy view that isn’t so diverse from many mainstream Russians.

    For some, the ideal Russian candidate is the one saying that Russia sucks and is the major source of wrong in Europe.

  • Agreed. Western media are only interested in lefties and clowns who bang on about lack of free speech, etc, funny enough issues which ordianary Russians couldnt care less about. What amazes me is that no opposition candidate has had a go at Putin and United Russia on obvious things like suggesting an increase in public spending and upping the antiUS rhetoric. By acting western they entirely isolate themselves from Russians! Its such a contradiction! A viable opposition candidate with similar foreign policy views to Putin would be as disliked by western media as Putin is. The fundamental thing is that certain sections of the US and UK media and the likes of LR are only interested in a weak and bankrupt Russia. Having someone like Yavlinsky in charge is entirely conjucive to that purpose. My own view is that Russia should be even more assertive than it is. Its time someone put manners on the US.

  • Stay tuned Ger as something on such matter is slated for release soon.

    Your points are well taken and not overlooked by well meaning Russians.

  • My own view is that Russia should be even more assertive than it is. Its time someone put manners on the US.

    There are a lot of governments which put opposition to the US as top of their agenda over and above domestic issues. None of them is particularly successful.

    Russia needs a government which is going to work seriously at sorting out its own domestic problems, not one which is elected on a platform of teaching the Americans a lesson or two. This doesn’t mean that Russia should adopt a foreign policy at odds with its own interests, but it does mean that they need to get their priorities straight.

  • as far as i can see, that’s exactly what Russia is doing. I don’t notice America to be a big issue in the media…

  • Tim:

    When it comes to dealing with Russia, the neocons and George Soros funded neolibs have way too much clout. People like Kristol, Albright and Holbrooke are extremely arrogant. It’s not inappropriate to take a firmer line towards that crowd.


    To a certain extent, Russia is going about its own business without kowtowing to the neocons and George Soros funded neolibs. I nevertheless share Ger’s view that the Kremlin can be a bit more assertive when communicating its agenda to the Eng. language audience.

  • Russia certainly has more problems at home to be dealing with than throwing shapes abroad, but which country doesnt have problems at home? But Russia remains possibly the only country that could make any attempt to stand up to the US and they should use that. I cant help but wonder what would have happened if Putin had made a proper stand against the Iraq war . Maybe nothing, but if he’d stood up and said ”no, you arent doing this, you are wrong” maybe they’d have thought twice. Probably not, but maybe it’d have stopped this horrendous war, which has killed around 300,000 people. Thats what I mean when I say foreign policy. Mind you the wife at home thinks I’m mad and that it wasnt Russia’s business. Its everyones business when the last remaining great power destroys Mesopotamia without a UN mandate. I’m not having an anti-US rant; my point is simply that the way things are with the US on top unchallenged is hardly a good thing.

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