A Question for the US Primary Candidates From Garry Kasparov

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As Russia nears its own election on March 2nd, Garry Kasparov, the co-Chair of the Other Russia coalition, poses a question for the US presidential primary debates. In the Russian race, Dmitri Medvedev, the lead contender has declined to participate in similar televised debates. Then again, Medvedev comes to his position through an appointment from current President Vladimir Putin, and not from a vote of confidence in primary elections.

“The last opposition candidate for the March 2 Russian elections has just been forced out of the running by the Kremlin. President Putin’s handpicked successor Dmitry Medvedev has no competition. So-called engagement during the Bush years has only made the situation worse as Putin has turned my country into a police state. Hillary Clinton said recently that Putin “has no soul” and Mitt Romney referred to Putin as a dictator. John McCain has been outspoken in support of Russia’s democratic opposition. So the question is, will you pledge that as president you will work to remove un-democratic Russia from the G-8 league of great industrial democracies? Or will you continue to provide a dictator with democratic credentials?”

Garry Kasparov
Co-chair, The Other Russia pro-democracy coalition

For more information on the US Presidential debates, visit CNN.