Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Wednesday did not rule out from contesting the next presidential polls in March 2012, a day after President Dmitry Medvedev said he would soon announce if he would seek another term.
“Neither I, nor Dmitry Anatolyevich (Medvedev) have ruled out that each of us could fight elections,” Putin told reporters commenting on Medvedev’s statement.
A similar announcement was made yesterday by Medvedev in an interview to Chinese TV.
“The Chinese journalist’s question was not original. I and Dmitry Medvedev have been asked this question hundred times over the past years and we have learnt to give a same answer,” Putin was quoted as saying by ITAR-TASS.
Putin added that the decision about his candidacy will be taken.
“There is still almost a year to go before the elections. All this fuss about the elections does not contribute to the normal organisation of the work. If we would give some wrong signals now then half of the (presidential) Administration and more than half of the Government will stop working in anticipation of some changes,” Putin cautioned.
He said there were 143 million citizens in Russia and there should not be a single hitch in running the country.
“Everyone should work on his place, I, personally, am poised for such work and want to prompt all my cabinet colleagues for this,” Putin said.
After serving two consecutive presidential terms allowed under the Russian constitution, Putin in 2008 had vacated the top Kremlin job to his chosen successor Medvedev, who so far has been playing by the rules of the game set in the ruling tandem.
However, towards the end of his term, Medvedev is trying to assert himself and has been taking liberty in publicly arguing with his mentor, who is now eligible to seek a fresh election in 2012.
A prominent opposition leader, former vice premier Boris Nemtsov in an interview to Kommersant daily conceded that Putin has more chances of being elected in March 2012, than Medvedev.
Yesterday, commenting on Medvedev’s plans to seek re-election, a senior leader of the ruling United Russia party Oleg Morozov, also a deputy Speaker of lower house – State Duma, declared that Medvedev could count on its backing only if the party leader Putin will not be in the fray. Agencies