Russian Survey Says Putin Expected to Regain Presidency

Posted February 24th, 2012 at 4:40 am (UTC-5)
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A new Russian opinion poll out Friday says Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is expected to win a third term as president.

The survey by the Levada Center shows Mr. Putin would get up to 66 percent of votes in next month's election.

Mr. Putin's favorable results come a day after he told thousands of supporters in Moscow's Luzhniki stadium that his United Russia party will win the March 4 election.

Before the rally, Mr. Putin supporters marched through Moscow in a unified response to several public demonstrations against the prime minister.

The protests began in December after his party claimed victory in parliamentary elections, although with a reduced majority.

But opposition groups and international observers claim that the vote was marred by violations, including ballot-stuffing, limited political competition and a lack of fairness.

Requests for a new election have been rejected. Mr. Putin won presidential elections in 2000 and 2004, but term limits barred him from seeking an immediate third term.

He became prime minister in 2008.