Putin Stumps for Party in TV Address

President urges vote for United Russia in Sunday's parliamentary elections
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2007 2:50 PM CST
Russian President Vladimir Putin makes a nationwide address in Moscow on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007. President Vladimir Putin on Thursday strongly urged Russians to cast ballots for the main pro-Kremlin...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – In an announcement aired on Russian television Vladimir Putin called on citizens to vote for his United Russia party in parliamentary elections Sunday, in order to prolong "stability and continuity," and "set the tone" for March elections. He also warned casting ballots for liberal opposition candidates would cause a return to "times of humiliation, dependence and disintegration," the BBC reports.

"We cannot allow the return to power of those who once tried but failed to rule the country," Putin said. Detractors, among them recently imprisoned Garry Kasparov, have charged him with monopolizing the media to promote his own agenda, and have criticized recent police violence at political opposition rallies. "We are in effect entering a very dangerous period," Kasparov said today.