Medvedev criticizes deficits in Russian political system
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday made renewed calls for reform of Russia's political system, in a televised speech before a presidential advisory committee, DPA reported.
"Government agencies are too stubborn and primitive in their reactions to societal change," Medvedev told the State Council, a body established in its current form by former president Vladimir Putin to deal with issues of high importance to Russia.
"Policies must become more flexible, more modern, and more intelligent," Medvedev said. Russia's state bureaucracy must finally be "in line with the ideological and cultural diversity of society."
In his speech, the Russian president also indirectly referred to the October 2009 local elections, marred by allegations of fraud. It was problematic that only one political party other than the ruling United Russia was represented in the Moscow city council.
"Does this really reflect the will of a very colourful and active citizenry in this enormous, complicated city?" Medvedev asked.
Some observers see Medvedev's ongoing promises for reform as mere declarations of intent with little concrete evidence of progress.
Among the members of the State Council, comprised of governors and presidents of Russias territories as well as presidential appointees, is Putin, now Russia's prime minister. The body has purely advisory powers.