Sunday, December 9, 2007

News Item - Putin's party to name 'successor'

United Russia will choose a successor for President Vladimir Putin at a party meeting on December 17, according to a report by the BBC. It was also announced that United Russia leader Boris Gryzlov will be nominated as Prime Minister, ending speculation that Putin would take the PM job for himself.

Trying to guess whom United Russia will nominate for president has been one of the most popular games in Russia for the past several months. The recent favorite to succeed Putin is current Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov, who Putin was a little-known bureaucrat until Putin named him prime minister in September. Zubkov is considered a close personal confidant of Putin, whom he has worked with since the early 1990's.

The Times of India though is reporting that Putin may consider selecting the current governor of St. Petersburg, Valentina Matviyenko, as his successor. Matviyenko was elected the governor of Russia's second-largest city in 2003, and had previously served as the deputy prime minister, the highest political office obtained by a woman in post-Soviet Russia.

The nominee of United Russia, especially if endorsed by Putin, is expected to easily win the presidential election on March 2.
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