Several news sources report that the Russian President Medvedev has introduced a bill into the Duma (the Russian Parliament) prolonging the term of office of the president from four to six years and the term of the Duma from four to five years.
Introduced last week, the Duma wants to pass these changes in the Russian constitution within one week - quite something for such an important ammendment. However, since Medvedev's (and Putin's) party hold a 2/3-majority, I don't see a reason why the ammendments wouldn't pass.
In fact, they do not concern the present president and Duma but will enter into force only after new elections.
This is why Western news sources suspect that this move is a preparation for a return of Vladimir Putin. After Medvedev's term, he could run again for office and would be re-electable for a second term which would give Putin additional 12 years as the most powerful figure in Russia.
Whether this will become a truth will have to be seen. However, and taking into account the realities in the Russian political system, I would not be surprised if this would happen as projected.
- Robert Amsterdam's Daily Russia News Blast - Nov 12, 2008