Monday, December 3, 2007

Russia’s Authoritarian Leader Putin Remains in Control

Though the results of yesterday’s Russian national elections show that President Vladimir Putin's United Russia party, as expected, clearly won a strong majority of the votes, the conduct of the elections raises questions about the legitimacy of the outcome and of the party's claim to rightfully govern Russia. This makes it all the more concerning that the Kremlin will likely use the results to reshape Russia's political landscape, allowing Putin to extend his political influence beyond the end of his presidential term next spring… (Wall Street Journal)

Putin is constitutionally prohibited from running for a third consecutive term, but he clearly wants to stay in power. A movement has sprung up in recent weeks to urge him to become a "national leader," though what duties and powers that would entail are unclear… (AP Associated Press)

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