Medvedev says will soon decide on run for re-election
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday he would soon reveal if he will run in presidential polls next year, in possibly his strongest sign yet of his ambition to stay in the Kremlin.
"I do not rule out that I will run for a new term, the post of the president. The decision will be taken, and rather soon at that," he said in an interview with China Central Television (CCTV) in comments released on Tuesday.
Russia is heading for presidential elections in 2012 and both the 45-year-old Medvedev and his 58-year-old mentor, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, did not rule out standing.
Medvedev took over the Kremlin in 2008 after Putin served two four-year terms as president, with Putin immediately becoming a powerful prime minister. They have repeatedly said they would agree who would run to avoid competing with each other but neither has so far confirmed his plans.
The stakes are high -- the next leader can stay in power for a 6-year term under a constitutional change.
"No-one can know the future but I can tell you that as the current head of state, as the president, I of course think about it, I simply must do so," said Medvedev.
Analysts in the past weeks have urged the ruling duo to announce their plans as soon as possible so as not to keep the Russian political and economic elite in limbo amid fears the two men would delay the decision until after the parliamentary elections in December.
Observers in recent weeks have pointed to signs of competition for the top post as Medvedev has acquired a taste for power and Putin has so far showed no willingness to retire.
Medvedev, who spoke ahead of his upcoming visit to China this week, said his decision on whether to run would depend on a number of factors including the current social situation, the elite's political preferences and people's support.
"I expect that such an understanding will be formed in the rather near future, I will speak about it," Medvedev said in the interview.
© 2011 AFP