Russia Other


Putin announces his bid for 2012 presidential elections

In a speech at the annual conference of the United Russia party on 24 September, incumbent Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced his intention to run for presidential elections scheduled on 4 March 2012. In addition, it was decided that current President Dmitry Medvedev will head the United Russia list at the next parliamentary elections on 4 December, and thereafter be appointed Prime Minister in the event of an electoral victory. This will enable Putin and Medvedev to swap roles, four years after Putin completed the constitutional maximum of two consecutive terms and chose Medvedev as his successor. The announcement did not surprise political analysts, despite speculation during recent years that Medvedev might run for a second consecutive term. That said, few local analysts doubt that Putin will win the next elections, a result which would mark his third presidential term, as his popularity ratings are high in the country. In the days following the announcement, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin was dismissed, after ruling out the possibility of working in a government run by Medvedev. Market analysts fear that Kudrin's dismissal will encourage Russian economic authorities to take a more relaxed attitude towards public finances. Considered a fiscal hawk by many analysts, Kudrin had helped the country weather the 2008 global financial crisis by using savings from oil revenues to establish a rainy-day fund.

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