Thursday, December 13, 2007

Presidential Polls #2 - Russian edition

Meanwhile the first presidential poll since Vladimir Putin named his chosen successor was conducted this week in Russia. Not surprisingly Putin's candidate to succeed him as president, First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev took the top spot by a wide margin, with the support of 35% of those polled.

Several other prominent Russian politicians were cited in the poll. Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the often controversial leader of Russia's Liberal Democratic party finished with 11 percent, while Gennady Zyuganov, leader of the Communist party received 15 percent. Zhirinovsky has already declared his candidacy in the March 2 election, while Zyuganov has not.

Two other noted political figures - First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov and Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov - received 21 and 17 percent respectively in the poll, though since both are also members of Medvedev's Untied Russia party, it is unlikely that they would challenge him in the presidential election.

Gary Kasparov, the chess champion turned fierce critic of Vladimir Putin, gave up on his bid for the presidency when local officials backed out of an agreement to give him the use of a hall for a nominating rally. Under Russian law, candidates who are not part of a recognized political party must receive a formal nomination at a meeting of at least 500 people. Kasparov said this was the latest in a long string of attempts to silence his criticism of Putin.
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