Putin sworn in as Russian president amid protests, nominates Medvedev for PM position


JNN  08 May 2012 Moscow : Vladimir Putin has been officially inaugurated as Russia’s new president for a third term after a four-year lapse during which he served as the country’s prime minister.

Putin took oath before some 2,000 guests at the Kremlin’s St Andrew Hall in Moscow on Monday, and officially took office from Dmitry Medvedev, who is expected later in the week to take on Putin’s job as prime minister.

The 59-year-old politician served as president for two consecutive terms from 2000 to 2008 and worked as the country’s prime minister from 2008 to 2012. Russia’s president-elect will lead the country for six years.

Meanwhile, Moscow police said they had arrested 120 people during an unsanctioned rally against Putin on Monday.

This comes as the opposition groups staged a protest on Sunday in Moscow, aimed at mounting pressure on Putin and reviving the protest movement that has lost momentum since March since Putin’s victory in the March 4 presidential election.

The opposition has raised fraud allegations and called for demonstrations, but Putin has several times assured Russians he “won in honest and fair combat.”

According to the media reports, some 400 people, including opposition leaders, were arrested during the Sunday protest.

Russia’s newly sworn-in President Vladimir Putin has submitted a bill to the State Duma, nominating Dmitry Medvedev as the new prime minister under a job swap agreement announced last year.

The lower house of parliament’s speaker Sergei Naryshkin said Monday that Putin submitted the bill shortly after his inauguration for a third Kremlin term.

Putin named Medvedev as his chosen prime minister, before winning the March 4 presidential vote. The nomination is expected to be approved by the house on Tuesday.

This comes as opposition groups staged a protest on Sunday in Moscow against Putin’s return to the Kremlin.

Protesters are angry that Putin is extending his already 12-year hold on power for six more years saying it will stifle political and economic reforms in the country.

According to the media reports, some 400 people, including opposition leaders, were arrested during the Sunday protest.

Medvedev has served as first deputy prime minister from 2005 to 2008 and as president from 2008 to 2012. He was the third and youngest Russian head of state since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s.

Putin, 59, has served as president for two consecutive terms from 2000 to 2008 and worked as the country’s prime minister from 2008 to 2012.

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