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Putin intentions remain a mystery

Putin has yet to give any clear signal about his personal intentions when he steps down as Kremlin leader following presidential polls next March, reports Fred Weir.

world Updated: Nov 17, 2007 22:55 IST
Fred Weir

Vladimir Putin is the incumbent President of Russia, but he's running for parliament in elections slated for December 2, as head of the pro-Kremlin United Russia Party.

However, despite his intense, high-profile political activity in recent weeks, Putin has yet to give any clear signal about his personal intentions when he steps down as Kremlin leader following presidential polls next March.

That ambiguity has encouraged a public organisation, "For Putin", to launch a nationwide petition and stage a series of rallies around the country demanding that he remain Russian leader after 2008, regardless of the Constitutional provision stipulating a president must step down after his second term.

"We respect the president's position, but it is necessary to find a way for him to remain the nation's leader," Pavel Astakhov, the organization's leader, told 700 delegates to a "For Putin" conference in the western city of Tver last week.