Photo by Kremlin.ru
According to sources, Russian President Vladimir Putin will not complete his term in office, but will resign before December 2, 2007, when his successor will stand in the next election. Putin's term does not expire until March 2008, but the Kremlin does not want to wait an additional three months. Pro-Kremlin elites are ready to launch their massive campaign well ahead of schedule.
Speculation concerning Putin's post-Presidential career has focused on him accepting an executive position with Gazprom, Russia's state owned natural gas monopoly.
Putin's supporters in the Kremlin believe that picking a successor and starting the next Presidential campaign early will insure a smooth transition of power.
Russia has traditionally held parliamentary and presidential elections spaced several months apart. Kremlin elites believe that consolidating the national vote into the first Sunday in December will save time and money.
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