Thursday, September 29, 2011

Putin to return as Russian President –No Surprise There

Surprise, Surprise... Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of Russia said that he has accepted a proposal to stand for president in March 2012. While addressing the ruling United Russia party's annual congress, Putin and current President Dmitry Medvedev backed one another to switch roles, something which was widely anticipated ever since Putin stepped down from the presidency because the Russian constitution barred him from serving more than 2 consecutive terms in office.

United Russia, the party which Putin leads, dominates the country's politics and observers say his return to the Kremlin is now all but guaranteed. He had already served two terms as president before Medvedev (his hand-picked candidate) took over in 2008.

"I want to thank you for the positive reaction to the proposal for me to stand for Russian president," he told delegates after Medvedev suggested he should be a candidate. "For me this is a great honor." –Yes but something which was obviously planned al along…

Putin also indicated that Medvedev could become prime minister following the 4 December parliamentary vote. –Again, just part of the plan…

The Russian congress must formally nominate Putin as its presidential candidate - but that appears all but certain.

We have been speculating for months that Putin planned to return to the Kremlin in the next elections. Most Russians believe he has greater influence in the country and far more power than Medvedev’s.

In a somewhat surprising moment of candor, Putin told delegates that the two men had reached agreement on who should hold which post "a long time ago, several years back" (I'm shocked. just mean this was planned all along?)

He also warned of possible, unpopular measures to cope with the global financial turmoil. "The task of the government is not only to pour honey into a cup, but sometimes to give bitter medicine," Putin said. "But this should always be done openly and honestly, and then the overwhelming majority of people will understand their government."

Under recent amendments to the Russian Constitution, the new president will have a six-year mandate rather than four years as before. He will be able to serve no more than two consecutive terms. That means Putin could be in office until 2024 (at which point he could simply repeat the same maneuver and return to office in 2030 for another 12 years –making him a virtual “President for Life”.

Live Long and Prosper...

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