Putin Begs Oppositionists Not to ‘Rock the Boat’

Vladimir Putin. Source: Daylife.comAs parliamentary elections approach and the leading party’s ratings drop, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is calling on opposition parties to play an active political role but not “rock the boat,” Interfax reports.

“The leading party and majority expect the opposition to behave calmly and not rock the boat,” Putin said at the closing State Duma plenary session on Wednesday. “But this is a vain wish: that’s why the opposition exists, so that the leading party holds on stronger to the steering wheel.”

“We have many undefined and risky factors ahead of us, and in the midst of a storm, a tempest, a crisis, it’s very important that the whole team works in harmony, so that the boat doesn’t capsize,” he added.

Elections for representatives to the Russian State Duma are scheduled for December 4. Only seven political parties have been officially registered by the Justice Department, which allows them to field candidates. Numerous incidents of pre-election fraud have already been noted by monitors. Members of the opposition are staging a boycott of the “dishonest” elections and calling for Russians to go out into the streets and protest on December 4.