Ousting of Governor ‘First Serious Opposition Victory’

Kaliningrad Governor Georgy Boos. Source: Ng.ruBack in January, 12 thousand Kaliningrad activists shocked the ruling Russian elite when they staged the country’s largest opposition rally in recent memory. The activists demanded the resignations of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and local Governor Georgy Boos.

Days later, Putin chastised his party – United Russia, which holds a political monopoly over the country and of which Boos is a member – for making false promises to voters. “You cannot promise everything to everyone all at once,” he said. “You can’t turn into promisers who make promises only in order to pull the wool over people’s eyes, force their way into government agencies, and then just deal with their own problems.”

On Monday, United Russia published its list of recommended nominees for Kaliningrad governor – and the list excluded Boos. The reason, said party secretary Vyacheslav Volodin, was a lack of popular support. “For us, the opinion of voters is the law,” he said.

Former Deputy Prime Minister and Solidarity opposition movement co-leader Boris Nemtsov is calling the exclusion “the first serious victory of the opposition.” He explained further on his blog:

Boos is not on the list of candidates for Kaliningrad Oblast governor that United Russia has released.

It’s an obvious victory of the Kaliningrad opposition.

It’s the obvious result of the 12-thousand-person rally on January 30. It’s also the result of the well-coordinated actions of united opposition forces. And for some, it’s a lesson. After January 30, a row of oppositionists broke under significant pressure and clumsily began to play up to the government, depriving themselves of a political future, sacrificing their reputations. In the end they were left with nothing.

The main lesson – you must be steadfast and principled, and sooner or later you’ll win.

The opposition mustn’t be content with this.

We are under an obligation to achieve the resignation of the odious, corrupt, senile [Moscow Mayor Yury] Luzhkov. We are under an obligation to achieve elections for governor.

And, finally, we must do everything so that the ideologue and architect of the vertical of thieves, V. Putin, doesn’t even think taking back the presidency in 2012.