MOSCOW - President Vladimir Putin expressed support Monday for first Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as his successor, saying that electing him president would keep Russia on the same course of the past eight years.I wouldn't expect much change once Putin is out of office, but one never knows. In many ways Putin was an improvement over Yeltsin's failed policies. The country is better economic shape today, its the bullying and authoritarianism of Putin and his policies that rub many people inside Russia and outside that causes criticism and sometimes fear.
There have been months of intense speculation on whom Putin would support to run in the March 2 presidential elections — along with the wider question of what Putin himself will do once he steps down.
Putin's popularity and steely control has led most observers to expect that whomever he supports would be certain to win the elections.
Putin had long been seen as trying to choose between Medvedev, a business-friendly lawyer and board chairman of state natural gas giant Gazprom, and Sergei Ivanov, another first deputy premier who built up a stern and hawkish reputation while defense minister.
Although Putin is banned by the constitution from seeking a third consecutive term in office, he has indicated a strong desire to remain a significant power figure. He has raised the prospect of becoming prime minister, and his supporters have called for him to become a "national leader" with unspecified authority.
Putin made the statement in a meeting with representatives of the United Russia party — which is his power base and dominates parliament — and of three other parties. The parties told Putin they all supported Medvedev.
Will Medvedev continue Putin's policies? Will Putin still be pulling the strings behind the scenes? I don't think Putin would have picked Medvedev if he didn't both believe his current policies would continue and that he could have some control or influence over his hand picked successor. The risk Putin is running is the position of Russian President is so powerful, they can ignore most anyone they wish. Including the person who picked them for the job in the first place.
Linked to- Bullwinkle, Populist, Right Voices, Right Wing Nation,