Recent news reports have Vladimir Putin accepting the resignation of Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov today and nominating virtual unknown financial monitor Victor Zubkov for Prime Minister. State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov says the lower house could vote on Zubkov for PM as soon as this Friday.
Speculation has been that Putin's annointed choice for the next elected President would be nominated as Prime Minister first. This would indicate a path to the presidency that Putin traveled, as he was similarly nominated as Prime Minister by Boris Yeltsin. With the recent resignation of Fradkov, rampant speculation was either Sergei Ivanov or Dmitri Medvedev would be nominated.
However, I had been pointing out in other forums for weeks now that if Putin plans a return to the presidency in 2012, it would serve his purposes to nominate someone less powerful and entrenched than either Ivanov or Medvedev. After all, why would either one of those candidates step aside for Putin 2012? And wouldn't a successful 4 years in office by either Ivanov or Medvedev create a greater potential for a political split or division in Russia?
This has been designated as the Hudsucker Proxy theory, after the Coen brothers film of the same name. I had been thinking his choice would be someone such as Valentina Matviyenko, mayor of St. Petersburg. Putin might still do something of that nature, nominate a different candidate for the presidency. The more divisions he creates in Kremlin power, the easier it will be for him to sweep into office in 2012.
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