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Russia's Putin Says December Election Could Give Him 'Moral' Mandate


Russian President Vladimir Putin says a victory for his United Russia party in December parliamentary elections would give him a "moral" right to retain influence after he steps down from his Kremlin post next year.

Mr. Putin made the comment during a visit to the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk Tuesday. He said if people vote for the United Russia party it will mean they trust him.

Mr. Putin said a victory would also mean he has the right to hold those in government responsible for implementing decisions. But he declined to specify his future role in Russian politics, saying various possibilities exist.

The president announced in October that he would head the United Russia party list in the December elections. He also said suggestions he could become Russia's future prime minister were "realistic."

Mr. Putin told a party congress in Moscow last month that the pro-Kremlin party first must win the parliamentary election, and a decent, modern person must be chosen president in next year's vote.

The statements were considered a strong indication of Mr. Putin's plans after he concludes his second term as president next year. Russia's constitution bars him from seeking a third consecutive term.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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