Russian party barred from poll

By Charles Clover

Russia’s government has refused to allow an opposition political party to participate in December parliamentary elections, a blow to political freedoms, which have been talked up by President Dmitry Medvedev but which have yet to materialise.

Despite Mr Medvedev’s optimism, many believe the final arbiter of Russia’s political system is Mr Putin, the former two-term president, who appears loathe to liberalise the authoritarian political system he built from 2000-08.


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