Yeltsin’s political comeback

CXW posts some amusing speculation about who might become Russia’s next President at registan.net and comes up with a surprising candidate – Boris Yeltsin.

WTF?  Well, quoting Sergei Markov in RIA Novosti:

"Oligarchs, who made a pile during Yeltsin’s tenure, dream of revanche. They are in the same boat with Yeltsin’s top officials, for example Kasyanov. So, if a realistic political project is ripe, they will need Yeltsin.”

Almost none of the many pundits who have been speculating that Putin might make a loophole in the constitution allowing Presidents to serve as many terms as they like, but only two consecutively, have followed the logic through to assess the chances of former President Boris Yeltsin becoming President of Russia once again in 2008. 

Why, I wonder?  Well, probably because he is a drunk who mismanaged the country and everyone in Russia knows it.  Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev ran for the Presidency of Russian once – back in 1996, I think.  He gained around 1% of the popular vote, and I’d bet good money that Yeltsin would struggle to match that showing.

Sure, a bunch of oligarchs who are out in the cold under Putin’s leadership hanker for a return to the good old days of Yeltsin’s presidency when they were the ones taking free advantage of Russia’s natural resources.  But they hanker for the freedom, not the man who gave it to them.  They certainly aren’t so foolish as to think that Boris Yeltsin is the only man they can use as a puppet President – there are plenty of candidates under consideration who are in much ruder health than Yeltsin.

Another daft idea put to bed. 

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