Putin Promises Russians Bigger Say In Politics

Published February 6, 2012 7:18AM (EST)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who is running for a third term as president, is promising Russians a bigger say in politics.

In an article published in the Kommersant daily on Monday, Putin said the government must turn around its institutions to accommodate the increasingly vocal civil society.

Putin admitted that the government is lagging behind the willingness of people to take part in decision-making.

Putin, who was Russia's president in 2000-2008, is facing a wave of public discontent over widespread election fraud in the Dec. 4 parliamentary election. Tens of thousands of people have rallied in Russian cities since December. Sunday's protest in Moscow drew as many as 120,000 people despite temperatures plummeting to 4 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 20 degrees Celsius).

By Salon Staff

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