Putin Claims 'Moral Right' to Power
Says United Party victory will mean 'citizens trust me'
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2007 5:36 PM CST
Russian President Vladimir Putin smiles at a State Council meeting in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2007. Putin chaired the meeting of regional governors and Cabinet ministers, which...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Putin claimed a “moral right” to keep a hand in Russian politics today if his party wins the December 2 election, Reuters reports. A victory for the pro-Kremlin United Party looks likely, so how would he rule after resigning as president in May? "I will refrain from a direct reply about the form in which this will be done," he said. "But there are various options.”

He could be majority leader, officially or otherwise; or he may lead the Kremlin Security Council, be prime minister, or even rule sans title, analysts say. Whatever happens, United Party is calling the ballot a “referendum on Putin” and using his popularity to gain votes. Polls show that voters like Putin, but are dubious of the party; Russia's liberal opposition is splintered and has no chance to win.