Moscow: Despite his crackdown on protesters
seeking his removal, Russian strongman Vladimir Putin remains
the front runner among the candidates for the March 4
presidency polls, with 49 percent of respondents ready to
vote for him, according to a public survey.
"Gennady Zyuganov (11 per cent) is still in second place,
Vladimir Zhirinovsky (9 per cent) is in third. He is followed
by Sergei Mironov (6 per cent) and Mikhail Prokhorov (4
percent)," the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center said
today, placing the Russian Prime Minster, ahead of his rivals.
The number of respondents willing to vote for Prokhorov
doubled in one week. Also Mironov received two percent more
potential votes. Putin, on the other hand, lost three per cent
of potential votes, the Ria Novosti reported.
Putin will have to garner a minimum of 51 per cent in
order to avoid a runoff.
Russia`s presidential elections are slated for March 4,
and Putin is seen as the most likely winner.
The other four registered candidates are moderate social
democratic leader Sergei Mironov, populist firebrand Vladimir
Zhirinovsky, communist leader Gennady Zyuganov and independent
billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov.
Thousands of people had protested here against a tainted
parliamentary election last December. The protests were
suppressed by the security forces.