Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Saturday defended the ruling party’s term in government, saying eight years was not excessive or unusual.
“United Russia emerged as a political force in 2003. Now it is 2011 – not a very long term,” Medvedev said.
The eight years that United Russia has been the ruling party “is not that much,” he said.
“Is it a good thing that only one party in our country has the majority?” he asked. “You know, that is a matter of taste.”
It is good insofar as it ensures the continuity of government policy, he said, adding that it is essential to rely on the majority in passing new laws.
The existing political system “absolutely meets European democratic standards,” Medvedev said, adding that all parties – from left to right – “are represented in the country.”
His remarks come the day the presidential election campaign kicked off in Russia.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who is widely expected to win the March 4, 2012 polls, is to be officially nominated as presidential candidate at the United Russia convention on Sunday.
In mid-October, Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev announced their plans to swap jobs after the elections. Medvedev, who will lead United Russia in parliamentary polls on December 4, is expected to become Russia’s new prime minister after his presidential term expires.