Sochi Goes Through the Motions

It can be tough work to continue coming up with new ways to fake the democratic process … after a while, the voters seem to wonder “why bother?”  Today, in Sochi, all eyes are on the mayoral election, which has been strongly tilted toward the United Russia candidate once again.  From the Washington Post:

In an interview, Nemtsov compared the tactics being used against him to those of Hitler’s propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels. “Now we have the same here under Putin’s Russia,” he said.

Nemtsov, a Sochi native, said the authorities have detained his campaign workers, seized his leaflets and prevented him from renting facilities for events. Last month, unidentified assailants threw ammonia in his face outside his campaign headquarters; he says they were activists from the pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi.

Local media have refused to accept advertising from any of theopposition candidates or cover their campaign events. In addition tothe 20-minute documentary on Nemtsov, though, they have broadcastfootage purporting to prove that he took money in exchange for shiftingthe Olympics to South Korea.

“This is Sochi’s dirtiest election ever,” said Yuri Dzagania, the candidate of the Communist Party. (…)

“This is the first serious attempt from one of the liberalpoliticians to try to play a serious role in any regional or municipalelection in Russia,” said Rostislav Turovsky, head of regional studiesat the Center for Political Technologies. “This election will show thata lot of people do not support United Russia and its candidate.”