Russians Vote for New Prez

Medvedev is Putin's hand-picked heir
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Mar 2, 2008 9:09 AM CST

(Newser) – Russians headed to the polls today to vote for a successor to President Vladimir Putin in what was expected to be rubber-stamp support for his hand-picked heir. Though voters have a choice, Putin aide Dmitry Medvedev faces no serious opposition. "I'm in a good mood. Spring is here," said Medvedev, 42.

Little is known about the candidate—he didn't bother to participate in presidential debates—though he has indicated he is more in favor of democracy and freedom of speech than his mentor. It's uncertain how much actual power Medvedev will wield as president—or if he will simply carry out orders from Putin, whom he has vowed to name prime minister.