Friday, December 7, 2007

Putin's party to name 'successor'

President Vladimir Putin's United Russia party, which won a huge majority in recent parliamentary elections, is to choose its presidential candidate.
The vote is expected to take place at a special party congress on 17 December.

The party's candidate is the strong favourite to succeed President Putin, who is due to step down in March.

There has been speculation that either Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov or the First Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, will be nominated.

Mr Putin has made it clear he intends to continue to play a national leadership role after he leaves the presidency.

The leader of the United Russia party, Boris Gryzlov, said that he would be nominated for the post of speaker of parliament.

His announcement ends speculation that Mr Putin would himself take the post.

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