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Last chance for candidates join race for Kremlin

The Russian presidential race is gathering pace as the Central Election Commission accepts the last applications from independent candidates on Tuesday, just one day after President Putin agreed to head the government should his chosen successor, Dmitry M

“If the citizens of Russia show confidence in Dmitry Medvedev and elect him Russia's president, I will be ready go on with our common cause as Russia's prime minister,” Vladimir Putin announced on Monday.
Dmitry Medvedev is determined the two will continue to work side by side if he is elected.
“I believe we can implement our strategy only together with a man who proposed that. This is why I believe it’s crucial that he must head the government if I manage to win the March election. And I’m glad that Vladimir Putin has accepted my offer,” Dmitry Medvedev stressed.
Meanwhile, reactions among Russia's political parties were mixed.
It's been a season of announcements from United Russia since Putin’s October decision to top the party’s electoral list. For many this latest one was no surprise.
“It was expected, it was quite obvious. At the same time it’s interesting that Putin decided to make it in front of 2,000 people and in front of the members of United Russia. This means that at least formally he is trying to get approval,” said TV show host Vladimir Solovyov.
Russia’s other parties vary in their views.
The head of the Liberal Democrats, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, says without Putin, Medvedev chances would be drastically lower. This is something United Russia supporters deny.
The Communists say the Putin-Medvedev compromise is a risk – a transparent promotion uniting two very different politicians.
But the question is – if the ‘dream team’ plan comes into force in March – how power will be divided between the two.
Putin insists the PM’s power will not change.
Dmitry Medvedev’s youth, energy, and position in the post-Soviet generation make him a popular candidate. But it is President Putin’s place in his campaign that offers a unique formula which could tip the balance.