Moscow, Russia: Vladimir Putin was inaugurated for his fourth term as Russia’s President in a ceremony at St. Andrew Hall in the Grand Kremlin Palace on Monday.
The elaborate Kremlin ceremony, attended by members of the Russian government, State Duma lawmakers and members of the Federation Council – among many others – began with the arrival of the president, his passage through the ceremonial halls to the Andreyevsky Hall where the president took the oath of office.
In a brief speech, Putin thanked Russians for their support and promised to do everything to make the country prosperous. He said only a free society could create the conditions for technological and economic breakthroughs necessary for Russia’s development.
According to the Russian constitution, the government has to resign after the inauguration of the president and Putin will then have a right to submit a candidacy for the post of prime minister. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was the president’s “exclusive prerogative” to decide when to submit it.
After the swearing-in ceremony at the Kremlin, President Vladimir Putin formally nominated current chair of the Russian government, Dmitry Medvedev, to retain his post as the head of the new cabinet, filing recommendation with the Russian parliament on the day he was sworn in. The candidacy is to be confirmed by the Russian parliament.
Putin’s third inauguration took place on May 7, 2012. Putin was re-elected on March 18 with 76.69 percent of the vote.
By the end of his new term, Putin will have ruled for 24 years. Although Russia’s constitution limits the presidency to two terms, Putin – who took over from an ailing and embattled Boris Yeltsin in 2000 – skirted that limit by swapping posts with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev for one term, from 2008 to 2012.
Putin does enjoy considerable support among ordinary Russians. A poll published shortly before the election by the state-owned Russian Public Opinion Research Center had Putin with a 69 percent approval rating.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Monday inauguration for another six year term has solidified his place as the country’s longest-serving leader since Josef Stalin.