Dmitry Medvedev Met with Members of Public Supporters’ Committee
OREANDA-NEWS. December 5, 2011. PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA DMITRY MEDVEDEV: Good afternoon,
Well, as we agreed not so long ago, I said that I would meet with you the day after the State Duma election. To be honest, I don’t have any particular aim or agenda at the ready. Of course, I want above all to thank you all for taking part in the Public Committee and setting out your views on a diverse range of issues. Actually, I made use of the views you put forward in a number of cases. This was the direct significance and purpose of the work that you did over the last month and a bit. And so I want to thank you all because your input really was very useful.
Second, I want to thank everyone who supported me and supported United Russia over what was not the easiest time for the party and indeed for the country, given that any election campaign is always a big test. I thank everyone who voted for United Russia, though I know some of you here today have other political convictions. This is a normal thing because this gathering after all is a committee of supporters and the prototype of our future extended government, our future open government.
Third, whatever many people might think, we are not about to bury this extended government idea today. I did not get you all together in order to then turn up and say, “Thanks everyone, we’ve achieved our goal, and now you can all go your separate ways and pretend we’re all still in close contact.” Out of the question! We will continue our contact, in defiance of the customary habits of government work in our country, when people group together around the leaders and bosses, and then the leaders shake their hands, maybe even give out a few medals, and everyone vanishes again. We have a different mission, and so let’s start outlining our future work plans here today.
Fourth, yesterday’s election was very different to what we have seen in the past, and for a number of reasons. I can share my own impressions with you. United Russia got what the voters gave it, no less and no more. This is precisely the whole sense of completely free, fair, and democratic elections. The party got more or less what the various sociological agencies predicted in their preliminary surveys and exit polls, plus or minus a little. All the talk about rampant use of administrative resources to influence the vote are… I mean, where are they, these resources? We realise, of course, how complex and diverse life is. I watched a few videos people posted on the internet, but you can’t see anything there. You’ve got people sounding the alarm and shouting that it’s a disgrace. Of course, allegations of violations must be properly examined.
But I think that United Russia made a decent showing, as I said yesterday to the party’s members at the campaign headquarters. The result was the justified outcome of the party’s development over these last years, taking its various merits and shortcomings into account. It is also a reflection of the authorities’ work over this period. Yes, we still have problems, still have unresolved issues, and very big tasks to address. Of course people’s views differ here. No tragedy has taken place, in any case, and on the contrary, I think the result is perfectly decent and fair.
To be honest, I am happy that we will have a more ‘lively’ parliament now. We all know, after all, that the truth comes out of discussion and debate. No one has a monopoly on truth and on setting unquestionably right approaches and policies. Discussion and debate between people usually end up producing more balanced decisions, whether in the economy, the social sector, or any other area of life. I therefore think that a ‘livelier’ and more energetic parliament will be good for our country, and I hope we will have just such a parliament.
What else can I say? We need to look to the future. The future is what has brought us together. We can discuss in brief the events that have just taken place, but I propose that we concentrate more on drawing our plans for the future.
I said to you that this idea of open, extended government will go ahead only if a number of conditions are met. The first was that United Russia wins the election. United Russia has secured an absolute majority in the State Duma, thus receiving a legal mandate from almost half of Russia’s voters to work on their behalf. We will thus continue the discussion in this area.
That is probably enough for now. Let’s share some impressions, talk about who has been doing what, who has encountered what problems. Perhaps something interesting might come up.