Voices from Russia

Friday, 11 December 2009

An Untimely Holiday

Filed under: politics,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00

Logo of the United Russia Party… don’t mess with the bear… especially when Vova’s the master.

The United Russia Party thinks that an exhibition celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) was blasphemous. That was because when they held it on Monday, 7 December, Russia had declared a national day of mourning for those who died in a fire in Perm; but, the LDPR unveiled their advertising on vodka bottles and mayonnaise packages anyway. The press service of United Russia released the party’s statement on Friday, 11 December.

The exhibition in the RF Gosduma celebrating the 20th anniversary of the LDPR became “a bone of contention” between United Russia and the LDPR at the meeting of the Chamber this morning. Representatives of both factions at the plenary session started with mutual accusations and both appealed to the Ethics Commission to assess what their opponents had done.

The occasion was a statement from the United Russia Deputy Irina Yarova, which referred to “recent articles” that reported, “a major banquet was held in the halls of the RF Gosduma on a National Day of Mourning”. She demanded that LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky issue “a public apology to everybody for such outrageous behaviour”. In response, Mr Zhirinovsky said, “No banquet was held on 7 December, for it was a Day of Mourning, it was not”, and that the exhibition was on the following day. For his part, Maksim Rokhmistrov, the deputy chairman of the LDPR, suggested “a medical examination of Deputy Yarova to ascertain her sanity”. Then, another United Russia deputy entered the fray, demanding that the RF Gosduma Ethics Commission evaluate the statements of Mr Rokhmistrov.

Andrei Isayev, the first deputy secretary of the presidium of the General Council of United Russia, said that the double standards inherent in Mr Zhirinovsky’s actions disturbed him. “On the one hand, we hear statements by the leader of the LDPR insisting that everyone involved in this should tender their resignations, citing the [Perm] tragedy. On the other, we see that the tragedy was not an occasion to cancel or at least tone down the banquet for the 20th anniversary of the LDPR. In my opinion, this shows the absolute inadequacy of the head of the LDPR, who is already too weak to cope with the role of a leader of a real political party”, he said. As far as he was concerned, Mr Zhirinovsky’s conduct casts a shadow not only on his own faction, but, also, on the entire Russian parliament.

11 December 2009

Natalia Pereverten

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

One hears much bloviating from Americans and Brits concerning the “falsity” of Russian democracy. I beg your pardon… the RF Gosduma is closer to the wild n’ woolly 19th century American House or the cutthroat 18th century British Commons than the tame successors of those bodies are. Pitt and “the Little Magician” (those with a knowledge of US history know who I am referring to) would be more at home in the RF Gosduma than in Brown’s or Reid’s sterile focus-group driven chambers. They’d be out there trading fisticuffs with the LDPR and KPRF and they’d hand Vova a bullwhip and a duelling pistol to put things right. In short, bare-knuckled and feral democracy still lives… in Moscow!

Makes ya think, doesn’t it?



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