Russian Communist warns polls could spark 'Egypt scenario'
The leader of Russia's Communists warned Tuesday that a popular uprising like that in Egypt could sweep away the country's ruling party if the public sees its predicted victory in upcoming polls as illegitimate.
The leader of the Russian Communist Party, Gennady Zyuganov, whose party will compete with strongman Vladimir Putin's United Russia in the December 4 legislative polls, cautioned that the ruling party would manipulate poll results.
"They will do anything to push through their people and prevent those who would vote against them from turning up," said the 67-year-old leader of parliament's largest opposition party.
"When have you seen rascals run clean elections?" he said in an interview with business daily Vedomosti.
He said victory for United Russia could be perceived as faked, and that distrust of the ruling powers could spill over into open dissent.
"The illegitimate authorities could become a serious danger in the near future," he said, pointing out that Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak triumphed in the polls shortly before he was toppled.
"I know Mubarak well. He and his National Democratic Party got 78 percent half a year before he was dragged to the prosecutors and deposed. But not one Egyptian believed this result. We could see the same picture in our country."
Mubarak's party won two rounds of parliamentary polls in November and December last year amid accusations of fraud. Mass protests in January and February ended with his resignation.
The ex-dictator is on trial for murder and corruption along with his two sons. He is now in a Cairo military hospital where he is reportedly being treated for cancer.
© 2011 AFP