It looks like a landslide, with widespread reporting of fraud.
The formalities of the nomination within United Russia was done this weekend.
MOSCOW (AP) — Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has been formally nominated by the ruling United Russia party to run for president in next March’s election.
[..] Putin has named his handpicked successor, President Dmitry Medvedev, to lead the United Russia’s list in the Dec. 4 parliamentary elections and promised to make him prime minister after the presidential vote.
The planned swap has angered many in Russia, who warned it would strengthen authoritarian trends and set the stage for Putin to serve as president for another 12 years becoming the nation’s longest-serving leader since the Communist times.
Only other candidate for president at the moment is Communist Gennady Zyuganov.
In his first public statement after the self-reinstatement as Russian President next year, Putin calls for a more integrated Eurasian Union – though based upon voluntary participation, and modeled on the economic and trade union of Europe.
In regards to any resemblance with the former Soviet Union:
“The idea is not to recreate the Soviet Union in some form,” Putin writes, adding that the Eurasian Union would combine human and economic capital of its members to “ensure the stability of global development.”
Russia is still not admitted to the World Trade Organization:
The plan to create a Eurasian Union raises questions as to Russia’s future within the World Trade Organization, which has been a permanent issue on the foreign policy agenda of President Dmitry Medvedev.
Russia is the biggest economy still outside the trade organization, and has pursued membership for many years. Putin did not explain in his article however how unification with other post-Soviet states would help its accession.
The strange part here is really the choice of name. A Eurasian Union without Europe, Middle East, China, Japan or India – is just really a fraction of the continent. It’s not at all a union of the continent, and it’s a tiny economic power. They should perhaps have come up with something better. “The Comrades” would’ve had a nice cultural tone to it.
And it’s hard to tell how much of this is for domestic consumption, how much is the grand chessboard, how much is personal vanity, and how much is some rational economic policies for stability and security.
The translated article is here.
The younger generation of russians react to news about Putin 2012 – 2024:
“A year ago I told all my friends who were leaving that I would never do that, no way!” wrote a magazine editor named Yevgeniya Lobacheva in a posting on another Web site. “But I have only one life. Twelve years! I will be 43!”
[..] “I want to live in a country where I don’t need to break the rules to live in comfort,” said Stepan Chizhov, 29, who markets board games like Monopoly and is preparing to leave for Canada with his wife next summer.
“I just don’t want to have to fight the system,” Mr. Chizhov said. “I want the system to be a comfort to me. I want to live easily. And there’s no possibility in Russia in the next 20 years to follow the laws, follow the rules and live in comfort.”
On the decision-making process:
“He is a good specialist, and his candidacy was obviously agreed with Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev. This is our joint decision.”
The strongman is back in Russia.
A couple of days, and a quick suggestion/demand for resignation after Mr. Alexei Kudrin spoke badly about the prospect of a future Prime Minister Medvedev – all this while being on US soil.
Resignation is now delivered – and accepted.
As expected – the ticket becomes Putin President, Medvedev Prime Minister.
The campaigns and democratic elections appear to be details.
Medvedev not playing politics on current events – folks think he’s out.