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Putin's political tactics trigger Moscow protest

Putin's political tactics trigger Moscow protest
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A group of demonstrators gathered in central Moscow on Sunday to protest at political manoeuvres ahead of next year’s election.

On Saturday, at a meeting of the ruling United Russia Party, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Medvedev agreed to effectively swap positions. Putin will run for president and Medvedev would be his prime minister.

One protester said “Yesterday I listened to a meeting of United Russia and the speeches of Putin and Medvedev and I couldn’t not come here. It is outrageous.”

Russia’s Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has now rebelled, saying he will not serve in the next government.

Critics of United Russia say the development proves what many had suspected – that Medvedev never was the real president and that he was just keeping the chair warm for Putin’s return.

There is little doubt that Putin will win the election next March, putting him in a position in which he could extend his rule until 2024. As well as being incredibly powerful, he is also the most popular politician in Russia.