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The London Times reports this rather depressing news:
KREMLIN hardliners pushing for President Putin to serve a third term have been given a significant boost by an opinion poll indicating that 59 per cent of the population would support such a move.
Mr Putin, who took power in 2000, has promised to step down before the next presidential election, in 2008, because the Russian Constitution does not allow anyone to serve more than two consecutive four-year terms.
However, none of the potential successors identified so far has the popular appeal of Mr Putin, whose sobriety and steely manner have consistently won him approval ratings of higher than 70 per cent. And the Kremlin controls more than the two-thirds majority in the Duma needed to amend the Constitution to allow Mr Putin, 53, to stand for a third term. The poll by the respected Levada Centre suggested that 59 per cent would support that move, compared with 44 per cent last September.
The Russians are in luck; only 32% of them believe Putin won't attempt to run in defiance of their Constitution. Just about 0% of the rest of the world believes that Putin will stay home, too.
Addendum: "Sobriety and steely manner"? That must be Russian for "dour and autocratic".Sphere It View blog reactions
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"Kremlin hardliners pushing for President Putin to serve a third term have been given a significant boost by an opinion poll indicating that 59 per cent of the population would support such a move," the Times of London reports (via... [Read More]
Tracked on June 9, 2006 7:43 AM
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