Nov 6, 2008

Putin Plots Return As President

By Joel C. Rosenberg

President-elect Obama will have many challenges to solve when he takes office on January 20th. But Russia and Iran may be the most serious and the most difficult.

The news out of Moscow this morning is that Czar Putin is plotting to return next year as President of Russia. “Russian President Dmitry Medvedev could resign from his post in 2009 to pave the way for Vladimir Putin to return to the Kremlin,” reports Reuters this morning, based on a report in a Russian newspaper. “Medvedev Wednesday proposed increasing the presidential term to six years from four years, a step the newspaper said was part of a plan drawn up by Vladislav Surkov, who serves as Medvedev’s first deputy chief of staff. Under the plan, Medvedev could implement changes to the constitution and unpopular social reforms ’so that Putin could return to the Kremlin for a longer period,’ the newspaper said. “Under this scenario Medvedev could resign early citing changes to the constitution and then presidential elections could take place in 2009,” the newspaper said, citing the unidentified source close to the Kremlin. The paper said Putin, who is currently prime minister, could then rule for two six year terms, so from 2009 to 2021.”

Meanwhile, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today did something out of the ordinary, praising Sen. Obama for his election as the next American President.”I congratulate you on being able to attract the majority of votes of the participants of the election,” said Ahmadinejad. “I hope you make the most of the chance of service and leave a good name by preferring people’s real interests and justice to the insatiable demands of a selfish and indecent minority.”