Putin sure of victory ahead of elections
MOSCOW - The Associated Press
Workers attach a pre-election poster featuring Prime Minister Putin.Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has voiced confidence that he will win presidential election on March 4, while bluntly dismissing opposition demands.
Putin, who is all but certain to regain the presidency, sought March 2 to put a positive spin on massive protests that have been held against his 12-year rule, saying they were a “good experience for Russia.” “That situation has helped make government structures more capable, has raised the need for them to think, search for solutions and communicate with the society,” he said.
Speaking at a meeting with editors of top Western newspapers in remarks broadcast by state television, he promised to engage in dialogue with the protesters, but rejected the opposition’s main demand to hold a rerun of December’s parliamentary election during which Putin’s party held onto its majority through what was believed to be widespread official fraud.
Putin insisted on March 2 that he is favored by a majority of Russians, but admitted he enjoys less support in Moscow and other big cities. Putin’s claim is in line with recent opinion surveys that showed he was backed by some 60 percent of respondents, paving the way for an easy victory against four-Kremlin approved contenders.