15 April Putin agreed to become head of the party United Russia that holds the qualified majority in the lower house of Russian parliament State’s Duma. He seems to be trying to assume as much power, as he possibly can, so everything that is left outside of president administration is carefully prepared to serve Putin.
This basically means soon or later there is going to be struggle between Putin and his successor Medvedev, which is good, at least there is going to be a dualist political model for the time being. I don’t think though, that the struggle is going to last for significant period of time. In a struggle that will be going mainly behind closed doors, outside of parliamentary discussions and laws, the battle is almost certain to be short and decisive.
Putin’s trademark is covertness, he cannot afford doing things in the open, that is also his weak point, because if Medvedev start appealing to people, all Putin’s might will wane in a few months. However, Medvedev is not terribly public politician as well, I’m not sure he is able to do that, he is going to use the same tactics of an “apparatchik” that Putin uses. And then we don’t know, who is going to win.
Putin certainly has more enemies than Medvedev, simply because he had time to cross many people’s ways, that might play against going president of Russia, but at the same time he is better connected so to say – he comes from security services, etc. One thing can be said for sure, things will become exciting in many ways over the next few months.