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Only Honest Elections Can Save Russia From Middle East Unrest - Communist Leader

Elderly Russian Woman Casting BallotMoscow, 24 February: The leader of the CPRF (Communist Party of the Russian Federation), Gennadiy Zyuganov, warns that if the upcoming regional elections are not honest and fair, the Middle East scenario of popular uprisings could be replicated in Russia.

"Apart from honest elections there is no other mechanism for renewing the leading personnel and rectifying the situation. Then you push people (into uprisings, like in the Middle East - Interfax). But everything will be a degree tougher in Russia," Zyuganov said live on (Gazprom-owned, editorially independent) Ekho Moskvy radio on Thursday (24 February).

He said that the main causes of the popular uprisings in the Middle East were "extreme poverty, the dissatisfaction of the educated section of the population, a rapid increase in prices and terrible anti-American sentiment".

He said that in Russia "the food basket is getting more expensive, so the situation will also swell up here".

"We support those for whom things are bad and tough, primarily the destitute population (in Libya - Interfax), who have found themselves abandoned by general life, and political life too. The situation is dramatic and extremely difficult for them," Zyuganov said.

"We need to bear in mind that from Gibraltar to Afghanistan and even the Hindu Kush, the situation could become completely destabilized with extremely difficult consequences. The entire Arab world is awakening today, and it is hard to predict what quality life will take on tomorrow," Zyuganov said. (Passage omitted: Zyuganov comments on education proposals)

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