Medvedev shows unease at Putin power system

13th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

President Dmitry Medvedev Friday warned against an over-concentration of power and building a system of authority around a single person, in a possible criticism of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.

"The over-concentration of power is a dangerous thing indeed. We should not allow that," the Kremlin chief said in the central Russian city of Kostroma in comments broadcast live on national television.

He did not specifically mention his mentor, Prime Minister Putin, who has dominated Russia since 2000 under a system known as a "power vertical", but his remarks are likely to be seen as direct criticism of his predecessor as head of state.

"Attempts to build a power system for a specific person are dangerous in any case," Medvedev said.

"If they do not bring problems in the present, have no doubt: in the nearest foreseeable future they will create huge problems both for the country itself and the concrete person."

Putin is seeking to co-opt social and political forces and unite them around his ruling United Russia party ahead of parliamentary polls in December followed by presidential elections three months later.

Putin and Medvedev, seen as his junior partner in the ruling tandem, have both previously said they would agree who would run so as not to compete against each other.

So far neither has ruled out standing. But Medvedev, who analysts say harbours presidential ambitions of his own, did not embrace Putin's latest initiatives, calling instead for political competition.

© 2011 AFP

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