Party Survey – Can Putin be called a dictator?


Vladimir Putin will be confirmed as president of Russia in the coming days. Election observers, historians and political scientists say: these elections do not deserve their name; a dictator is at work here. Do domestic parties see this the same way? asked – with quite a surprising result!

Kremlin leader Putin is currently heading for a fifth term in office. His compatriots are called on to cast their votes until Sunday. They have no real choice. The only serious opponents were removed from the ballot, driven into political exile or – like Alexei Navalny – eliminated outright.

In Europe there is talk of ‘pseudo-elections’. Belarusian ruler and Putin henchman Alexander Lukashenko has long been considered Europe’s last dictator. In the opinion of many, this list should be expanded with an entry at least since the attack on Ukraine. In their editorials, Western media are calling on world leaders not to recognize Putin’s expected landslide victory and to call the Kremlin leader what he is: a dictator.

Putin has largely undermined democratic structures:

What about the maligned Russian democracy? Can Putin be called a dictator? And should the elections be recognized at all? asked the domestic parties these three questions.

The NEOS and its EU top candidate Helmut Brandstätter are among the most outspoken Kremlin critics in Austria. The former journalist has often described Putin as a dictator in the past. A spokeswoman for his party is a little more cautious…

Assessment of the democratic situation: Russia is no longer a liberal democracy. Political prisoners, limited freedom of expression and a lack of opposition demonstrate this dramatically every day.

Is Putin a dictator? In any case, Putin is a warmonger and suspected war criminal and an enemy of a sovereign Europe.

Will your party recognize the re-election of the Kremlin leader and congratulate him accordingly? As a general rule, we do not participate in post-election congratulations, but we certainly do not congratulate anyone who attacks countries, puts liberal politicians on the wanted list and threatens to use nuclear weapons.

The Freedom Party is repeatedly said to have problematic ties with Russia. Foreign policy spokeswoman Susanne Fürst did not want to explicitly answer’s questions.

FPÖ answer: As an Austrian party, we focus all our attention on the tasks in Austria. We also aim to maintain equal distances from both the US and Russia. The questions surrounding the Russian presidential elections are therefore not of primary importance to the FPÖ. There are plenty of experts who know better about the situation in Russia. Whether the FPÖ or other parties recognize an election in another country is probably not important for Russia either. No congratulations are planned.

The Greens recently spoke out in favor of extending sanctions against Russia. Foreign policy spokeswoman Ewa Ernst-Dziedzic condemned the current events.

Assessment of the democratic situation: We condemn the so-called ‘elections’ in the occupied territories of Ukraine, which we see as part of Moscow’s attempts to consolidate its illegal occupation and annexation. These elections are neither fair nor free; all political competitors are ruthlessly eliminated. As an election observer, I criticize the Kremlin’s decision not to invite OSCE observers at all. So no one watches what happens. If Putin had nothing to hide, he would at least allow transparency here.

Is Putin a dictator? There is no democracy in Russia, but a dictatorial government.

Will your party recognize the re-election of the Kremlin leader and congratulate him accordingly? These are not elections, but a platform for fake news. I don’t know what there is to congratulate.

The ÖVP has repeatedly labeled Putin an aggressor and condemned the attack on Ukraine. According to the People’s Party, the Kremlin chief’s actions stand for themselves, a spokesman said when asked.

Assessment of the democratic situation: Putin’s Russia is an authoritarian state: the opposition is suppressed, there are no free media and the elections are anything but democratic. We do not want these conditions in Austria, but we see the danger that some parties in Austria also want this for our country.

Is Putin a dictator? The treatment of the remaining opposition and civil society speaks volumes. Any discussion of terminology is unnecessary. It doesn’t help the people in Russia either.

Will your party recognize the re-election of the Kremlin leader and congratulate him accordingly? There is little doubt that Putin will be re-elected. We take note of this.

The Social Democrats maintained good contacts with Russia before the war. When Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivered a speech to the National Council via video link last year, more than half of the seats in the red parliamentary club remained empty. The result was a wave of outrage and an apology from the Social Democrats. A party spokesman said the SPÖ wants to distance itself more clearly from “Putin’s regime”.

Assessment of the democratic situation: Russia is ruled by an authoritarian regime. Basic and human rights are increasingly restricted, opposition is suppressed and political persecution has persisted for decades, as recently evidenced by the Putin regime’s murder of Kremlin critic Navalny. Oligarchic structures play an important role in Russia. The presidential elections are neither free nor fair.

Is Putin a dictator? Putin leads an authoritarian regime that is imperialistic, cruel and despises human rights. There are plenty of reasons to call Putin a dictator. Unlike Russia, in Austria everyone can exercise their right to freedom of expression and call it that.

Will your party recognize the re-election of the Kremlin leader and congratulate him accordingly? Putin will remain president of Russia. The fact is that the elections are not democratic. It is neither free nor fair. There will be no congratulations from the SPÖ side.

The communists’ recent history has been marked by missteps: in 2021, a KPÖ district executive praised alleged “freedom of the press” on Belarusian state television. In 2019, a comrade posed with pro-Russian separatists in Putin’s proclaimed ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’. Since the war in Ukraine, the KPÖ has tried to create a different image. The Federal Executive Council announced the following.

Assessment of the democratic situation: Very bad, the imprisonment of political opponents must be condemned in the strongest terms.

Is Putin a dictator? Yes, based on ecclesiastical nationalism and oligarchic capitalism.

Will your party recognize the re-election of the Kremlin leader and congratulate him accordingly? No, we don’t congratulate other autocrats either.

The Beer Party was unable to answer’s questions within the specified period of several hours. The request came “too short notice” because party leader Dominik Wlazny was on tour with his band Turbobier.

Source: Krone


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