Russische verkiezingen: de kranten van 26 februari

Een opiniepeiling voorspelt de evidente overwinning van Medvedev in de eerste ronde, terwijl een andere krant inzoomt op de echte zorgen van de Russen: de impact van de stijgende inflatie.
From the Russian newspapers, 26 February 2008
The official Russian News and Information Agency (Novosti) reports that international observers will monitor the presidential elections in Russia. The head of Central Election Commission, Vladimir Churov, declared also that international observers will be present practically in every region of the country.He also noticed that observers from Interparliamentary Assembly of Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) will work in about 20 regions in Russia. In his turn, the coordinator of the group of observers from the CIS-Interparliamentary Assembly announced that they already properly watched for the process of presidential election campaign.
One of the legal experts of the Central Election Commission, Andrei Golovin, declared last Friday, that it would be an appropriate initiative to create a voting code. Anyway present legislation will be changed, Kommersant newspaper reports. In April the first suggestions are going to appear. The question of adopting of the special code will be discussed at the next session of scientific-methods council of Central Election Commission. According to information of Kommersant, that new code is supposed to include all the legislation concerning the voting procedure.
Presidential candidate from the United Russia political party, Dmitry Medvedev, organized public consulting centers, the Voice of Russia information bureau reports. People can address all theirs questions and problems to these bureaus. This organization started its work at the end of January. It has departments in all the regions of Russian Federation. Pavel Krashennikov, the head of this organization, noticed that for Dmitry Medvedev it is really important to know what the major concerns of Russian people are. He also has to try to take necessary measures to settle some of the questions raised. It is also important that public consulting centers give the possibility to cover all the country, to understand regional problems and to resolve them as soon as possible.
Moskovsky Komsomolets analyzes the impact of the upcoming elections on Russian economy and the pockets of common people. Not that Russians are desperate to know the name of a new president, they are much more concerned about the dynamics of prices of food products, housing, petrol, transport and the stability and safety of their savings. 
The rate of inflation in february is estimated at 3%. That makes the task to keep prices stable throughout the year pretty doubtful. The inflation is accelerating due to growing budget spending, rising global prices of natural resources (oil, gas and metals) and food. For instance since the beginning of the year, sugar prices have jumped by 21%. The same dynamics can be observed in meat and grain crops. Analysts don’t think this inflation pressure is alarming since the rate of economic growth remains high. Russian people are generally not recommended to keep savings in one currency but split them between rubles, dollars and euro. 
Komsomolskaya pravda covers the first visit of Dmitry Medvedev to a foreign country as a presidential candidate. Accompanied by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov he arrived in Belgrad to sign the agreement between Russian and Serbian gas companies “Gazprom” and “Serbiagaz” on building a transit gas pipeline through the territory of Serbia. The pipeline installed at the bottom of the Black Sea will bring Russian gas to the Balkans and other EU states. Construction is expected to start in 2 years. This agreement is designed to ensure energy security of all Europe. The issue of Kosovo crisis was also brought up during the visit. Medvedev reaffirmed Russia’s fundamental position on the territorial integrity of Serbia.     
Vremya novostei sums up the results of the electoral forecasts made by the “Public opinion” fund and Russian Center for Public Opinion Study.
According to their forecast Dmitry Medvedev will be elected President on March 2 in the first round. Medvedev is expected to garner 67,8% of the vote. Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov comes in second with 15-16%. Head of liberal democrats Vladimir Girinovsky is likely to receieve public support of 10-13%. The number of votes cast for Andrey Bogdanov from the Democratic Party might reach a little over 1%. 

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