Monday, 26 November 2007

Putin complains of foreign influences on election

Russian president Vladimir Putin says that upcoming national elections are in danger of being influenced by foreign political cultures, particularly those of the Ancient Greek city state of Athens and Rome during the Republican period. "We must not bow to such perfidious and alien concepts as 'term limits', 'popular elections' and 'voting'," Putin told reporters, while ceremoniously burning a toga and smashing a wine amphora belonging to leading opposition figure Boris Nemtsov. Since he was elected president in 1999 Putin has been accused of suppressing sections of the media critical of his administration, and of hampering the efforts of international monitors to oversee elections. Although dismissive of Athenian democracy, Putin has expressed interest in the fate of the Greek philosopher Socrates as a method of dealing with political opponents.

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