Russian opposition needs two years to challenge PutinJanuary 7th, 2012 - 3:52 pm ICT by IANS
Moscow, Jan 7 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The opposition in Russia will only be able to put forward a presidential candidate popular enough to challenge Vladimir Putin “in one and half or even two years at the earliest”, a former minister and supporter of the protest movement has said.
Putin’s victory in the March presidential elections was inevitable since none of the current candidates for the presidential post was popular enough to compete with him, former finance minister Alexei Kudrin wrote on the website of the opposition Ekho Moskvy radio station.
“Today everyone understands that whoever decides to compete with Putin in the March elections, including candidates who have not been registered, will lose even if the vote count will be the fairest ever,” he wrote.
A latest public survey conducted by state pollster VTSiOM Dec 24-25 showed 45 percent of Russians supported Putin’s candidacy for the presidential post.
Putin’s closest competitor, Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov, was supported by only 10 percent of the 1,600 Russians polled in more than 150 locations across the country.
Kudrin, who resigned as the finance minister and deputy prime minister last year following a row with President Dmitry Medvedev over budget issues, has supported the protest movement that swept across Russia following the Dec 4 parliamentary elections.
The protests were triggered by allegations of widespread vote fraud in support of Putin’s United Russia party.
Kudrin also took part in a mass protest in Moscow in December.
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Tags: budget issues, candidacy, communist leader, dec 24, deputy prime minister, dmitry medvedev, finance minister, gennady zyuganov, jan 7, mass protest, parliamentary elections, pollster, presidential elections, protest movement, public survey, ria novosti, russian opposition, vladimir putin, vote count, vote fraud