Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) watches celebrations for City Day in Moscow, Russia, September 10, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
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Vladimir Putin appears politically invincible after Russia's ruling party won its biggest ever parliamentary majority this month.With a presidential election due in March 2018, Putin, 63, must decide whether or not to run again.One former high-ranking official close to the Kremlin said Putin, in power either as president or prime minister for nearly 16 years, was fatigued.Putin is fond of a surprise though.Putin will have to make his mind up about the timing of the next presidential election soon.Kudrin, a Putin ally, did not say who he thought should stand, but the country's elite assumed he was talking about Putin.Even if, as is widely expected, Putin decides to run for president again, he will need to begin preparing a successor.The only other politician regularly given prominence on state TV is Medvedev, the prime minister. He stood in as president from 2008-12 to help Putin skirt a constitutional ban on anyone serving more than two back-to-back presidential terms.
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