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Over 40 Per Cent Of Russians Expect Putin To Get President's Job - Poll

Forty-one per cent of Russians believe that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will become president in 2012, Russian news agency Interfax reported on 16 September, quoting a poll conducted by sociologists from the Levada public opinion centre.

According to the results of the poll conducted in 45 regions in August, at present 41 per cent of 1,600 polled believe that Vladimir Putin will become president, while 22 per cent think it will be Dmitriy Medvedev and 10 per cent are expecting "somebody else"; 28 per cent of those polled are at a loss for an answer.

In January these indices showed respectively 38, 30, 12 and 38 per cent, the centre said.

A relative majority of polled Russians, 42 per cent, want both Medvedev and Putin to take part in the presidential election next spring. Fifteen per cent of those polled hold the opposite view, which is four percentage points less than earlier in the year, researchers said.

As many as 68 per cent of Russians believe that Medvedev and Putin have already decided which of them will stand for president, while one-tenth of those polled, 11 per cent, think they have not.

Many people say they do not care when the announcement which of the two leaders will stand for president is made. Nineteen per cent are expecting such a decision in the near future, 18 per cent think it will be made before the election to the State Duma while 16 per cent believe it will be known after the presidential election.

Asked what they think about Medvedev's and Putin's prospects for the future, 41 per cent of those polled expect Putin to get the president's job, while 18 per cent believe he will remain prime minister. As for Medvedev, 39 per cent see him in the president's office after 2012 and 22 per cent expect him to become prime minister, the poll showed.

Interestingly, a majority of Russians, 52 per cent of those polled, support Medvedev in his role as president and 36 per cent believe that he makes a serious impact on processes in the country.

The poll showed that 41 per cent of Russians say they share Medvedev's views and beliefs and will support him while he does good to Russia.

Putin has a considerable number of supporters: 16 per cent of those polled say they completely share his views and beliefs, while 29 per cent will support him for as long as he is prepared to conduct democratic and market reforms in Russia.

In general, 54 per cent of Russians are confident that their life may change depending on who will become Russian president in 2012, while it is not important for 42 per cent, the poll showed.

Later Interfax quoted another poll conducted by the Levada centre in August which asked for the opinion of Russians on Medvedev's and Putin's strengths and weaknesses as well as wondered what it was that attracted people to them.

It emerged that Medvedev's strengths are the fact that he is an intellectual (41 per cent), his commitment, businesslike manner and energy (31 per cent), as well as education and professionalism (32 per cent). Interestingly, four years ago 41 per cent of those polled were unable to name Medvedev's strengths, while these days this number constitutes 16 per cent only, sociologists say. Moreover, 48 per cent of 1,600 polled were at a loss when asked to name the incumbent president's weaknesses.

As for Putin's strengths, 46 per cent of those polled named his commitment, businesslike manner and energy, 37 per cent stressed his maturity while 26 per cent highlighted his experience in state affairs. At the same time, compared to a similar poll conducted in February 2011, the number of those who spoke of Putin's strengths on all counts have gone down, sociologists say.

Putin's experience, endurance and stamina as well as decisiveness attract people most, 39 and 31 per cent have pointed this out. Twenty per cent of those polled describe Putin "a true leader, capably of leading the way", while 15 cent stress his desire to defend state interests and another 15 per cent call him a far-sighted politician.

As for Medvedev, Russians are attracted, first and foremost, by his energy, decisiveness and willpower (25 per cent), as well as his desire to defend the country's interests (16 per cent). Many people believe he is a nice person (19 per cent), an experienced politician, capable of making compromises and ensuring stability in the country (11 per cent each), as well as a decent man and a person who enjoys the respect of others (9 per cent each).

Among the traits Russians do not like in Medvedev are: lack of bright political qualities (14 per cent), inability to succeed in leading the country (11 per cent) as well as absence of a clear-cut policy (9 per cent), the poll shows.

Putin is allegedly linked to big business (16 per cent); 11 per cent of those polled resent the fact that his behaviour is aimed at increasing his personal popularity, while 9 per cent speak of his contacts with corrupt businessmen, sociologists say.


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