So what has caused Mr Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, and one who has shown amazing admiration for the current rule of President-turned-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, to call the latest election results a sham?
Russia’s “Novaya Gazeta” newspaper has published an interview with Mikhail Gorbachev who believes that the October 11 local elections, which were so predictably won by the pro-Kremlin United Russia party amid wide-spread claims of vote tampering, have damaged trust in the country’s political institutions.
Mr Gorbachev was quoted as saying, “this is a complete failure of political strategists, who were guided by the utterly worthless principle that ‘it doesn’t matter how the people vote; what matters is how we count.’ In everyone’s eyes, the elections turned into a mockery of the people and showed a deep disrespect for their voices. The party of power gained the result it needed by discrediting political institutions and the very party itself.
Those are blunt words and Mr Gorbachev is the second high-profile person to attack the election results. Immediately following the count three parties, the ultranationalist Liberal Democrats (LDPR), the Communists, and A Just Russia walked out of the State Duma (parliment).