Vladimir Putin, Russian President, then Premier, then President Again
Putin Suggests He'd Be Premier Russian President Agrees to Head Top Party's Ticket
By Peter Finn Washington Post Foreign Service Tuesday, October 2, 2007; A01
MOSCOW, Oct. 1 -- President Vladimir Putin on Monday gave the clearest indication yet that he intends to continue ruling Russia after his term expires next spring, possibly by becoming prime minister, an office that analysts here say he could make as powerful as the presidency.
To be prime minister "is quite a realistic proposal," Putin told delegates at the electoral congress of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, which dominates parliament. He added that "it's too early to think about that," but Putin is not given to idle hypotheses, particularly in such a setting.
Political analysts and jubilant party delegates pounced on the remarks as an unofficial declaration of Putin's intention to leave the Kremlin next spring and move quickly up the winding Moscow River to Russia's White House, where the prime minister works.
"The president will keep his constitutional authority, but the real levers of power will shift to the prime minister's office," Alexei Makarkin, deputy head of the Center for Political Technologies in Moscow, said in an interview. "Political practice, not any constitutional changes, will allow him to continue to dominate."
I am a fan of this man. I know that's not popular, but Russia is a country that has defeated every test of leadership since the Tsars and here at last (my opinion) is a man who can bring them out of centuries in the dark. It will take decades. It will not end in Putin's time, but it will begin there.
A fascinating man. I wish him well.