According to some information, Vladimir Putin is not thinking about the successor, and his press secretary Dmitry Peskov says that now “it’s not the right time for talking” but, rather, “time to work.”
Presidential election in Russia is due in 2024 but the options of power transfer have been already discussed in the government. Many experts believe that the new “electoral” techniques will be tried out in the regional elections in 2019 and the State Duma elections in 2021.
Well-informed sources indicate at present, Vladimir Putin is not thinking about a successor at present. His press secretary Dmitry Peskov even says that now it is “not the right time for talking” but, rather, “time to work.”
Operation Reshuffle 2.0
Andrei Dmitriev, a member of the unregistered political party The Other Russia, agreed with the online newspaper Svobodnaya Pressa that Vladimir Putin has not yet thought about the successor.
“There is still plenty of time before the presidential election in Russia. Putin is more of a tactician than a strategist. So I don't think he is deceiving when he says that he has no thoughts of a successor. He hasn’t thought about what might happen in five years from now,” Dmitriev said.
He added that the incumbent president of Russia would try to stay in power or eventually put forward a successor. The second scenario involves only one candidate, which is Dmitry Medvedev.
“I assume Putin will try to keep himself in power. Why would he leave it if he has been there for 18 years as a minimum? The state of health of the incumbent Russian leader might be the envy of many people. He is not as impulsive as Yeltsin. To be fair, it is worth noting that various options may be used to comply with the so-called constitutional decency: for example, the establishment of the State Council headed by Putin or election of Dmitry Medvedev as president of the country," Dmitriev said.
Andrei Dmitriev indicated that Medvedev's low popularity ranking and his political "faults" are not essential when considering him as a successor.
“For Vladimir Putin, one of the main criteria is personal loyalty, and Medvedev has already proved it during his previous presidency. His compromised reputation may even be an advantage: the electorate needs one bright image -- the image of a national leader. There is a supposition that the presidential campaign might be based on the thesis that Putin is not going anywhere: the current president of Russia will be shown with smiling Medvedev in the background,” Dmitriev said.
Dmitriev is confident that the authorities have all the necessary instruments to implement this plan.
“Approved competitors and the capacity of administrative resources guarantee Medvedev's election. Do you not believe that? Look at the governor's election in St. Petersburg. Alexander Beglov has won the election with the lowest voter turnout and with no supporters at all. During the presidential election, the main slogan of the opposition "for anyone except …” will not work -- the people will go to the polls to elect a president, not a deputy, and will not have enough courage to vote for an unknown person,” said Dmitriev.