The other election
The NYT reports that Vladimir Putin's party has won by a large margin, which means that while he has promised not to run for President again, it may not matter.
“He has created really an authoritarian system, in which he is like a hill in the desert, and nobody is around,” Mr. Yavlinsky said. “Now time has come to make a transfer of power, and he really, really has no idea how to do that. And nobody else has any idea. And his character is such that he has no confidence in anybody.” Still, not everyone believes that the disquiet will last.
Stanislav Belkovsky, a prominent political analyst here, said people misunderstood Russian history and tradition. They are in awe of Mr. Putin’s high popularity ratings and fail to understand that once he leaves office, his aura will fade and authority will instinctively transfer to the new president, Mr. Belkovsky said.
So will Putin fade graciously into history like a Bill Clinton, or will he remain the power behind the throne like Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran?