Putin confirmed Russian prime minister

May 8th, 2008 - 7:28 pm ICT by admin  

Moscow, May 8 (DPA) Vladimir Putin was confirmed prime minister Thursday in a near unanimous parliamentary vote that underscored his continued power, one day after passing the Kremlin to his protege Dmitry Medvedev. A total of 396 of the 450 State Duma (lower house of Russian parliament) members voted in favour of Putin’s nomination Thursday.

By making the transition from president to premier, Putin ensures he remains a central figure.

Many believe he will carry more weight than Medvedev, who owes his presidency solely to Putin’s support.

The rearrangement of power over less than 24 hours effectively splits Russia’s leadership, raising doubts over who will really rule.

Putin has said he will not alter the current division of power between the Kremlin and Russian White House, and has indicated he will rule in informal partnership with Medvedev.

Medvedev recommended his long-time mentor Putin for the extraordinary parliamentary session Thursday, saying, “I think nobody has any doubt that our tandem, our cooperation, will become stronger.”

But analysts point to recent Kremlin moves ahead of Thursday to pad the shoulders of the premier’s post: re-delegating responsibility for mundane tasks to allow Putin to maintain a strategic and not immediately accountable role.

On Wednesday, Putin also became head of the legislature’s dominant party, United Russia, which controls a majority big enough to pass constitutional changes.

The Communist Party, the only opposition faction in parliament, made up the only 56 votes against.

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