Critics are describing Russian President Dimitry Medvedev’s state of the nation address as half-hearted and designed to legitimise the recent, disputed parliamentary elections.
His commitment to bold, political reform in Russia is being questioned.
“I did not hear a single word about where we would get the money to solve our problems, how we would develop the sectors that bring in revenues,” said Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov.
Gennady Gudkov, Just Russia party member, added: “There is no control over the government. The President did not pay serious attention to this. He did not mention that we are denied obvious mechanisms that exist all over the world -parliamentary and civil control over the government and freeing up the mass media from state control.”
Medvedev said the planned electoral changes would take effect after the presidential vote, in which he is expected to switch roles with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
“I think Putin will be elected president,” said one Moscow resident.
“Well, you know, after all, the power is well-established and strong. There are a lot of people who don’t understand politics, and they don’t want to understand. I think these people will vote for those whom they know, for Putin for example.”