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Putin Will Continue To Hold Power – As Premier

From an overjoyed Washington Post:

Putin Suggests He’d Be Premier

Russian President Agrees to Head Top Party’s Ticket

By Peter Finn
Tuesday, October 2, 2007; A01

MOSCOW, Oct. 1 — President Vladimir Putin on Monday gave the clearest indication yet that he intends to continue ruling Russia after his term expires next spring, possibly by becoming prime minister, an office that analysts here say he could make as powerful as the presidency.

To be prime minister “is quite a realistic proposal,” Putin told delegates at the electoral congress of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, which dominates parliament. He added that “it’s too early to think about that,” but Putin is not given to idle hypotheses, particularly in such a setting.

Political analysts and jubilant party delegates pounced on the remarks as an unofficial declaration of Putin’s intention to leave the Kremlin next spring and move quickly up the winding Moscow River to Russia’s White House, where the prime minister works.

“The president will keep his constitutional authority, but the real levers of power will shift to the prime minister’s office,” Alexei Makarkin, deputy head of the Center for Political Technologies in Moscow, said in an interview. “Political practice, not any constitutional changes, will allow him to continue to dominate.” …

The announcement, which surprised the delegates, was carefully choreographed. United Russia had left one of the three top spots on the party list vacant, fueling speculation that First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, a potential presidential candidate, might fill it to boost his public image.

Party member Sergei Borisov, speaking at the congress, pleaded with Putin to “lead the party.” Putin is not officially a member of United Russia or any other party, on grounds that the president should be above politics.

“So long as the state is outside a party, our party system is bulky and, to be honest, a somewhat decorative institution with little influence,” Borisov said. “I believe that by participating in one of the parties, you, Vladimir Putin, would make a large contribution to a stronger democracy and a multiparty system.”

“I thankfully accept your proposal that I should head the United Russia ticket,” Putin said. People in the packed hall jumped to their feet and erupted in applause…

The president, who is required to step down in March after two consecutive terms, has long indicated he would remain a major influence in Russian politics. As prime minister, backed by an unassailable United Russia majority in the next parliament, he could challenge even a president who chose to exercise the considerable powers of that office…

I don’t understand. Doesn’t Mr. Putin have a wife who he can install as President so that he can continue to rule?

Nobody in the media would say anything against him. Least of all the Washington Post.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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