Putin says will 'go wash' after 2012 polls
Vladimir Putin refuses to say whether he will run for a new Kremlin term but already warned the campaign would be so dirty he would have to go clean himself, literally and figuratively.
"I will go wash up," Prime Minister Putin said on Thursday when asked what he planned to do the morning after the March presidential vote.
"Both in hygienic sense and political sense," he said at a meeting of his ruling United Russia party in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg.
"After all the campaigns that are in store for us, there will be a need to thoroughly focus on hygiene," Putin said in televised remarks.
"Unfortunately, it's true. This is an inevitable process. As Churchill said, democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others."
With just nine months left before Russia's key presidential elections in March, neither Putin, 58, nor his protege President Dmitry Medvedev, 45, have announced their candidacy.
Many observers believe the final decision on who will run in the March 2012 polls rests with Putin. Medvedev said this month he would like to run for a second term but would not compete with his mentor.
Russia also holds parliamentary polls in December seen as a dress rehearsal of the March vote.
In May, Putin issued a rallying call to political forces to unite around his party in a broad coalition in a bid to boost his standing ahead of the polls.
Anecdotal evidence is now emerging that entire companies and even streets have been rushing to join the coalition Putin dubbed the All-Russia People's Front.
© 2011 AFP