Parliamentary election is fixed for December 14, 2003 in Russia, while presidential one – for March 14, 2004. December 10, 2003, presidential pre-election campaign starts, while State Duma pre-election campaign starts September 1. This was reported today by the head of Russian Central Election Committee, Alexandr Veshnyakov while speaking in Rostov-on-Don.
In the meanwhile, the President rating is still high enough. According to Russian Centre of Public Opinion Search (1,600 Russian citizens participated in the poll), Putin’s activity as president is supported by 83 percent of Russians and not supported by 15 percent. Moreover, Putin keeps on leading the trust rating-list: 52 percent of respondents called Putin, as they were asked to call a politician they trust most of all.
Although the President did not officially declared yet his intention to stand for president again, there is some indirect evidence of it. So, April 18, 2002, while addressing to Federal Assembly, Vladimir Putin shared with parliamentarians his plans extending till 2008. The parliamentarians understood the hint.
Putin’s opponents however are watchful, too, including that ones in his closest surrounding. Moreover, recent resignation of the head of Fishery Committee, Yevgeny Nazdratenko (ex-Seaside Region governor, backed by St-Petersburg law-enforcers), initiated by Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, as well as State Duma voting for RAO UES restructuring show the “family” influence growth in the Kremlin.
In his interview to PRAVDA.Ru, State Duma deputy Anatoly Chekhoev gave to understand an alternative for the President was being prepared “at the top”. According to Chekhoev, the track must be looked for in “executive power”, while not in “presidential structures.”
Checkhoev supposes somebody wants to expose the President. “You will see who will become president. They will accuse Putin of having done nothing (the question is about settlement of the Chechen situation), while this is they who organised this all.”
Checkhoev sorrowfully noted the fact that Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov “always reports that Chechnya again needs money, while we still have no effective mechanism of control over money.”
Sergei Stefanov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://politics.pravda.ru/politics/2003/1/6/11/7386_Putin.html
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