Vladimir Putin is to sign the decree to launch the parliamentary elections campaign in the State Duma of the Russian Federation. The date of the presidential election in Russia is drawing near as well, but still nothing is known about a possible candidate for Putin’s office. To add more fuel to the fire, nobody knows what place Putin will take in the current political system of Russia after he steps down from the office. Opinion polls say that Russians are perplexed about the future of the person, who enjoys highest ratings in the whole nation.
It stands the reason that opinion polls may not mirror the real state of affairs in a country, especially if they are held on the threshold of elections. Different technologies can be used in the polls to prepare the public for the required outcome of a poll. Some politicians or political organizations may receive higher ratings as a result of such methods whereas other forces may see that their ratings dropped for no reason. The same can be said about polls touching upon significant questions such as what Putin will do after his resignation.
The name of Putin’s successor still remains a mystery, nor is it known whether Putin ever unveils it. To crown it all, no one knows if Putin decides to leave the world of big politics for good or if he can run for the third term again. Quite a number of remarks that the Russian president made not so long ago say that he is determined to start his life anew after the election in 2008. Some specialists say, however, that the president will stay in politics to bring his goals to conclusion.
Results from recent opinion polls show that almost a half of the polled (46 percent) are indifferent to Putin’s personal decision to stay in politics or start new activities. A similar amount of people worry about the forthcoming resignation of the Russian president. About 30 percent of the polled say that Russia will start to decline after Putin. Only six percent said that the national economy would continue to grow. About 37 percent of respondents believe that the state of affairs in the post-Putin Russia will not change. The poll says that Russia will not plunge in the abyss of instability when the president steps down. The poll also displays the achievements of the incumbent president who created the stable political system which does not depend on the persona of the president. In addition, it does not matter who will take Putin’s position, but he must be a person from this system.
Putin has a variety of options to choose from after his resignation. He may take a position in the parliament, in the government, or become a leader of a large political party. If he stays in big politics such options will let him control the situation, share his experience with colleagues, guide them and eventually run for the third time in four years. It could be his third and first time at the same time.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov