Russian President Vladimir Putin will not give an immediate
response to a proposal that he become prime minister once his
presidential term ends, First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov
said on Wednesday.
Putin called the proposal "very interesting... But Putin will
decide on this, and possibly later," Ivanov was quoted by the
Itar-Tass news agency as saying.
"This proposal is aimed first of all at the preservation of
continuity of the policy that has been pursued over the past seven
years, at the further onward development of all spheres of Russia's
life -- economic, social and defense ones, in order the tempo keeps
and increases," Ivanov said.
Dmitry Medvedev, a nominated candidate for next March's
presidential election, proposed on Tuesday that Putin become prime
minister after leaving the Kremlin, while vowing to maintain policy
"As I confirm my readiness to run for Russian president, I
request that he (Putin) gives his principal consent to head the
Russian government after the new president is elected," RIA Novosti
news agency quoted Medvedev as saying.
United Russia, Fair Russia, and Agrarian and Civil Force jointly
nominated Medvedev as the candidate for next March's presidential
election on Monday. He will be officially nominated for the
candidacy at the United Russia congress on Dec. 17.
The support of four parties for a single candidate means there
is a realistic chance of building a stable government in Russia,
Putin said earlier.
The presidential race formally kicked off in Russia on Nov. 28
when the date for elections to choose a successor to Putin was set
for March 2, 2008.
Under the constitution, the current president is forbidden from
seeking a third term. Putin has pledged to step down next year but
vowed to contribute to the nation after that.
Putin said on Oct. 1 that he may become prime minister on two
conditions -- if the United Russia party won control of parliament
and if a capable person he could work with as a team is elected
Russia's President in March.
The United Russia Party won overwhelmingly in the recent
parliamentary elections, having secured 64.3 percent of the vote
and won 315 out of the 450 Duma seats.
(Xinhua News Agency December 13, 2007)