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SPP 416

Author: Peter Reddaway
Description: Putin and his associates will probably not take a precipitate decision either for or against pre-term elections for the Duma and/or the presidency. However, since significant political shifts are likely to take place this Fall, he might make such a decision soon. If he does call early elections at some point, his main goals would probably be: first, to act before he becomes a lame duck; and second, to achieve surprise, and thus be able either to push through more easily his preferred scenario for getting his chosen successor elected – against possible opposition from colleagues urging a third term out of fear that his departure would threaten their future; and/or to obtain through early Duma elections a majority for Unified Russia that might not be attainable later. In any case, whether or not any pre-term elections are actually called, urgently conducted preparations for the contingency of early Duma elections are now virtually complete. Early presidential elections can be triggered at any time by Putin simply resigning.

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CSPP School of Government & Public Policy U. of Strathclyde Glasgow G1 1XQ Scotland