Russia's ruling party, the United Russia, on Monday officially
nominated former law professor and a close ally of President
Vladimir Putin, First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, as
candidate for next March's presidential election.
Putin, who was barred by the Constitution from serving a third
consecutive term, has voiced his strong support for the nomination
on the same occasion by accepting Medvedev's invitation to take the
post of prime minister after he steps down, given Medvedev wins in
Born both in Leningrad, Russia's second largest city that
resumed the name of St. Petersburg after the Soviet Union
collapses; having studied laws both in the Leningrad State
University; having worked both in the St. Petersburg government's
external affairs committee and then the government, Medvedev, 42,
has been well known to his alumni and patron Putin, 55.
"I have known him very closely for more than 17 years and I
completely and fully support this proposal," Putin said last
Monday, when the United Russia and other three major parties, Fair
Russia, Agrarian and Civil Force, jointly suggested Medvedev join
in the presidential race.
"Medvedev's very personality makes any confrontation scenarios
unlikely," the thinktank website Russiaprofile said in a
Observers believe that Medvedev, seen as "the most unremarkable
figure in the struggle for power," and Putin share common concept
of values and are similar in terms of enthusiasm in serving the
Putin designated the four national projects -- public health,
education, housing and agriculture -- to Medvedev in 2005 when he
was promoted from presidential chief of staff to the current
position, which was seen as a sign of trust but a tough mission in
Medvedev, requiring all people to work hard and labeling failure
to accomplish tasks set by Putin as demoralization, then exhibited
his ability and personality, and passed through the fiery trial by
pushing the economy growing along a fast track.
Putin-Medvedev framework for Russia
Putin, who has repeatedly pledged to step down amid appeals
asking him to stay but never specify what post he will take after
next March's election, put an end to the guessing game by agreeing
to lead the government if Medvedev wins in the run.
"If citizens give a vote of confidence to Dmitry Medvedev and
elect him Russia's president, I will be ready to lead the
government," Putin said on Monday's congress of the United
"Whatever this move may, in the end, entail for the exact
redistribution of power in Moscow, it implies that Medvedev will,
probably, become Russia's official leader, while Putin will remain
its most powerful man after March 2008," said Andreas Umland, a
lecturer at the National Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv.
Such a political arrangement will forge a "two-tower" situation
in Russia next year, a pro-liberal president and a more powerful
but maybe not so pro-liberal prime minister, analysts say.
Anyway, Putin's existing policies will continue after the
election and Russia is expected to keep on rising along the track
designated by the then former president.
(Xinhua News Agency December 18, 2007)