With anger continuing over electoral fraud allegations, Russian viewers are expected to be glued to the television for this year’s live prime minister phone-in. Will Vladimir Putin break his silence over the recent protests?
During the marathon broadcast questions will be put to the leader via SMS, the internet or phoned-in. Some have already been sent in on line with most of them about social issues, but others could be more contentious.
On Wednesday in what appeared to be a bid to cool public anger over the recent parliamentary poll, the State Duma speaker and day-to-day head of Putin’s United Russia party stepped down.
Last Saturday’s protests calling for a rerun of the December 4 elections were the biggest since Putin came to power in 1999. Though he is likely to win a March presidential election, criticism on the streets and the internet have for the first time raised questions about the depth of his popularity.