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NOVO-OGARYOVO, March 2 (Itar-Tass) —— Prime Minister Vladimir Putin confirmed he would nominate outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev for the head of government if he wins the presidential election on March 4.
“If the people vote for me I believe it possible to offer the post of the government chairman to Medvedev,” he told foreign editors late on Thursday.
Putin and Medvedev announced plans to swap jobs at a congress of the ruling United Russia Party late last year. Putin said they made the final decision before the congress although a preliminary agreement was reached before Putin chose Medvedev as a successor four years ago.
“It was clear late last year that the rating of your obedient servant was higher than Medvedev’s,” Putin said.
He denied claims that he thus promoted “political oligarchy” in Russia. “We honestly and clearly told the country that one of us will run for president and we said in advance that Mr. Medvedev will be nominated for the prime minister. Did we deceive anyone? Did we hide anything? We openly and honestly made the offer to the voters and gave them a possibility to accept it or not. What oligarchy can you speak about?” he asked.