Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) watches celebrations for City Day in Moscow, Russia, September 10, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/File Photo
Andrew Osborn, Reuters: Putin faces dilemma after vote win: How to prolong a system based on himself
Vladimir Putin appears politically invincible after Russia's ruling party won its biggest ever parliamentary majority this month. But he faces an increasingly pressing dilemma: How best to ensure the survival of a system built around himself.
With a presidential election due in March 2018, Putin, 63, must decide whether or not to run again. He must also decide whether to bring that vote forward to 2017 to reset the system early to hedge against the risk of a flat-lining economy.
Few outside his tiny coterie know what he will do. Most Kremlin-watchers are sure he will run again and win, delaying the successor question until 2024. Others say he may surprise.
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WNU Editor: Surprise ... surprise .... this Reuters post is saying something that I have been saying for the past year in this blog .... that Russian President Putin is getting tired of the demands and worries with the job. The key part is the following ....
.... People who know Putin say he is growing weary. In an unguarded moment picked up by microphones last year, he was heard complaining about how little he slept.
One former high-ranking official close to the Kremlin said Putin, in power either as president or prime minister for nearly 16 years, was fatigued.
"Putin is tired, he's getting older," the source, who declined to be named, told Reuters.
This does not necessarily mean that Putin will relinquish power .... but he must be tired from the demands of the job .... and from my point of view he certainly does not have the energy that he once had. The fact that his closest supporters and friends have retired or resigned in the past year .... is another sign to me that change is in the air in the Kremlin. I am still predicting that he will run in the 2018 election .... but after that I will not be surprised if (2 or 3 years later) he will have his successor in place for 2024. If there is no successor .... expect Prime Minister Medvedev to run for the Presidency in 2024.