Superexecutive Vladimir Putin has strongly suggested that he plans to become president of Russia once again after his term as prime minister expires in 2012. That prospect and the current power-sharing deal between Putin and now-President Dmitry Medvedev has some talking about a “democratic deficit” in Moscow.

The Guardian:

Speaking to a group of scholars and international journalists, Putin said that he and his successor, Dmitry Medvedev, would take a joint decision over which one of them would hold the post next. Putin stepped down as president in 2008, becoming Russia’s prime minister, installing Medvedev in his place.

“Was there any competition in 2007? No. Then we won’t have this in 2012,” Putin said. Smiling broadly, he added: “We will agree because we are people of one stamp. We will take all these things into account and then decide.”

His comments raise the prospect that the Putin era — which began in 2000 — could extend for at least another decade. Under Russia’s new constitution the next president is entitled to stay in power for two more six-year terms, raising the prospect that Putin could still be in the Kremlin in 2024 – aged 72.

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