Anorak News | Bear-Faced Robbery

Bear-Faced Robbery

by | 20th, July 2004

‘THE Russians have still got a lot to learn from President Bush when it comes to fixing elections.

Vladimir Nikolayev denied having his hand in the honey jar

But if their methods are rather less than subtle, you can’t say that they don’t get results.

The Independent reports that Vladimir Nikolayev, a convicted criminal who goes under the nickname Winnie The Pooh, has become mayor of Vladivostok…after his rival ‘tripped’ on a grenade.

Viktor Cherepkov remains seriously ill in hospital after the unfortunate accident, suffering from concussion, speech loss, a heart attack and temporary deafness.

And, says the paper, his supporters claim he was targeted for assassination after appearing on television and urging voters not to let the city be taken over by criminals.

Mr Nikolayev denies involvement in the attack and such is the life expectancy of journalists in Russia that we are obliged to say that we believe him.

We only note in passing that the new mayor was sentenced in 1999 to three and half years in prison for beating a local official and threatening to kill another.

We are sure that, if Mr Nikolayev, as Russian media was reporting yesterday, was involved in shoot-outs, had dabbled in extortion and was a key player in the Pacific port’s criminal underworld, those misdemeanours were just the result of youthful excess.

And we find no evidence that Mr Nikolayev’s gifts of cash, lottery tickets and cheap fish and sausages to voters could be construed as electoral bribery.

We also believe that pigs can fly, there are WMD in Iraq and President Bush won Florida in 2000 fair and square.’

Posted: 20th, July 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink