Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin may dissolve his ruling party in favour of a new political base after next month’s presidential vote, unnamed sources in the know have told Bloomberg.The party would probably have a new name, logo, and leadership, according to the sources, who said the information was not public knowledge. United Russia spokeswoman Natalia Virtuozova and Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said they was unaware of such plans.
United Russia, which Putin set up in 2001, lost its two-thirds parliamentary majority in the December 2011 elections after demonstrations demanding Putin’s head. Putin told supporters it was because of “deep-rooted problems.”
“It represented people’s reaction to the party’s inability to respond to injustice at a grassroots level,” Putin said.
The plans show manoeuvring by Putin after tens of thousands of people took to the streets in protests against alleged fraud in the December polls, which showed Putin with a majority. The government has since introduced a number of political reforms, but Putin’s numbers are still not as strong as he would like.
While only time will tell what Putin’s plans are, he theoretically could disband United Russia and still stay in the Kremlin if he wanted to. In 2007, United Russia had a two-thirds majority in the Duma that allowed it to change the constitution to allow Putin to lead United Russia without being a member of the party.
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