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Pundits, Senior MP Comment On One Russia's Support For Putin In 2012 Election

Vladimir PutinMoscow, 14 April: Vladimir Putin is the preferred candidate for One Russia in the 2012 presidential election, deputy secretary of the presidium of the party's general council Yuriy Shuvalov has said. (Passage omitted: more quotes from Shuvalov, reported earlier)
[image adapted from version at federal taxpayer-funder RFE/RL bearing attribution to RIA Novosti]

What else could you expect? Vladimir Putin is the leader of the party, and what the deputy secretary of the presidium of the party's general council said was quite logical and expected," Pavlovskiy told Interfax on Thursday (14 April).

Another political scientist, dean of the applied political science faculty at the Higher School of Economics, Mark Urnov, agreed that the pronouncement of the One Russia representative was expected. "This is One Russia's only administrative lever now. Clearly, they will bank on him," Urnov told Interfax on Thursday.

At the same time he has no doubts that "a conflict is inevitable". "It is already taking place under the carpet. The only way it can be quelled is if the tandem reaches some internal decision on who will run for president," the political scientist believes.

Meanwhile deputy head of A Just Russia faction in the State Duma Gennadiy Gudkov said that neither of the possible candidates for the post of president in 2012 from the party of power had given the public a clear answer as to how Russia would develop in the future.

"The main question that every honest citizen has to ask himself is not who will come to power in 2012 but what programme Dmitriy Medvedev or Vladimir Putin will put forward if they stand in the election," Gudkov told journalists on Thursday.

Russia needs serious changes and real reforms as never before, he said. "Will the sovereignty and integrity of the Russian Federation be preserved in the 21st century: this is precisely the question that the entire political elite of the country, and not just the elite, faces," the MP insisted.

In the current configuration of power, it is the prime minister who has the greater influence on the life of the country, Gudkov believes. "It appears, however, that Vladimir Putin is not thinking about reforms, because the existing model of running the country was set up by none other than him over many years. He is unlikely to want, or be able, to start systemic changes which Russia now needs," the deputy believes.

"What inspires certain hope for the possibility of changes is Dmitriy Medvedev's as yet unclear statements about his readiness to pursue reforms in the country, including political ones," Gudkov went on. "So far, however, there is no answer to the question of how serious and determined the incumbent president is, which part of society he intends to rely on, and how profound Medvedev's reform could be," he said.

"The country has the right to see clear programmes of reforms which the candidates for the post of the country's president would subscribe to. If, however, the reform of political governance in the country, the replacement of elites, and the elimination of the monopoly on power are at the bottom of this list, then the 2012 election will only differ from previous ones in terns of calendar dates. Then a countdown to an inevitable systemic crisis will begin," the deputy said.

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