The Kremlin-backed Just Russia party said it will front Putin, whose term runs out in 2008, as the party's future presidential candidate, Novosti reported Friday. The Russian Constitution forbids presidents from serving more than two consecutive terms.
"I think Vladimir Putin's return as president in 2012 is more than possible and even necessary, and Just Russia will be happy to advance his candidacy," said Sergei Mironov, leader of the party and speaker of the country's upper legislative house.
Mironov also dispelled speculation that he might be planning his own presidential run in 2008.
"I have no such intention and will not run for president in 2008. That is my final decision," he said.
Mironov said the Just Russia party may change its name after this year's December parliamentary elections.
"Our party can be renamed in 2008 into the Russian Socialist Party, and I hope we will unite all left-wing forces," Mironov said.