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Russian Kabuki — Why Now?
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Russian Kabuki

The Associated Press reports Putin’s chosen successor calls for him to be PM

MOSCOW – Dmitry Medvedev, the hand-picked candidate to succeed President Vladimir Putin, called Tuesday for Putin become prime minister after the March 2 election.

Putin is prohibited by law for running for a third consecutive term, but clearly wants to retain a powerful role once he steps down. Medvedev’s proposal would provide such a role, especially if the constitution were amended to increase the prime minister’s powers — which could be done readily with the new parliament dominated by pro-Putin politicians.

Medvedev, 42, has spent most of his career as a loyal comrade of Putin, and his proposal for him to become prime minister almost certainly was made with prior consultation with the president.

The strong prime minister changes would be a long term solution, but another possibility is for Putin to become prime minister and then for Medvedev to resign as president. Under the Russian constitution when the president resigns, the prime minister takes over. Yeltsin did this, resigned before the end of his term, and Putin ran for the president while he was in the job.

Regardless of the details, Putin will retain his control of the Russian government.


1 Badtux { 12.12.07 at 10:19 pm }

Yeah, I laughed at this one too. Kabuki. Exactly.

2 Bryan { 12.12.07 at 10:23 pm }

A lot of formal pronouncements ending in the way everyone expects. Have to observe the forms, don’t you know.