No plans to quit early: Medvedev

November 13th, 2008 - 7:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Nov 13 (RIA Novosti) Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday his proposal to extend the presidential term from four to six years, which will apply to the next president, did not mean he would resign ahead of time. Medvedev’s announcement last week triggered speculation that the extension of parliamentary and presidential terms was a pretext to the return to office of his predecessor and now premier, Vladimir Putin.

Some media reports said Medvedev could step down next year to clear the way for Putin.

Asked during an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro, ahead of his trip to France for a Russia-European Union summit, whether his early resignation is possible, Medvedev said: “I can say only one thing for sure, and that is that the new term will benefit only whoever is elected to the office of president once the necessary amendments have entered into force.” The decision has been taken in the interests of the country’s development, he added.

Putin said Wednesday he had no plans so far to run again for the presidency.

Russia’s parliament is expected to swiftly approve the amendments.

Boris Gryzlov, speaker of the State Duma or the lower house of parliament dominated by the Kremlin-backed United Russia party said Thursday the house could approve the amendments in three readings at Friday’s session.

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