Will Putin Seek a Third Term?


Since Vladimir Putin assumed control of Russia in 2000, the government has arrested control of Russia’s key assets, including the vast oil and gas industries and the media. Although it is called a democracy, Russia is becoming more like an autocracy.

This is why the results from a recent poll conducted in Russia are surprising. An increasing number of Russians believe the nation’s Constitution should be changed to allow President Putin, whose second term expires in 2008, to run for a third term.

Conducted by the Levada Center in Russia, the poll, which covered 46 regions, showed that “the number of people who want Putin to remain on the post of president after 2008 grew from 41 to 59 percent over the past nine months” (Itar-Tass News Agency, June 8).

Despite his popularity, Putin has repeatedly said he will not run for re-election—but most Russians don’t believe he will keep his word. In the same poll, only 32 percent of the people surveyed believe the president will not take action to run for re-election.

It appears Russians want Putin’s leadership. Why not? Russia has developed into a formidable power under his watch.

For more on the significance of President Putin’s presidency—and re-election, should he seek it—see our January 2004 cover story.