Russian Majority Party Offers Putin Even Tighter Grip

Taking spot as head of United Russia would solidify his next job, as PM
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 7, 2008 2:27 PM CDT
The leader of the dominant United Russia political party and State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, speaker Boris Gryzlov, foreground, speaks to the media, Moscow, Monday, April 7, 2008.    (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)
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(Newser) – Russia’s largest party will ask Vladimir Putin to lead it after Dmitry Medvedev becomes the country’s president, United Russia's current head said today. Putin says he’ll become prime minister when Medvedev is sworn in May 7, but leadership of United Russia—which holds a large parliamentary majority—would further consolidate his power, Reuters reports.

While the president can fire the prime minister, he needs parliamentary approval to choose a new one—thus giving Putin, as head of United Russia, added job security. One analyst said the premiership would be temporary for Putin, while control of parliament is the “ultimate destination.” The Kremlin did not say whether Putin would accept the invitation, likely to be made official next week.