Outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev is capable of deciding whether to reverse his own decision to do away with daylight savings time in Russia, Prime Minister and president-elect Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.
“The government may well do this. I do not think there should be some decision on the part of the president; the government may do everything by its own resolution,” said Putin, who will return to the presidency in May following his landslide victory on Sunday.
“If Dmitry Anatolyevich [Medvedev] made this decision, like many other decisions, I do not think it should be broken, canceled, altered. Why? He has sufficient competence to decide,” Putin told journalists.
In June 2011, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree abolishing the autumn time switch and leaving Russia on “permanent summer time.”
The move followed studies that showed daylight saving puts an unnecessary strain on public health and an opinion poll indicating that that some 60% of Russians supported the decision to scrap the annual shift to winter time.
But after five months with no daylight savings time, Russians are no longer so sure.
Putin earlier said the return to the seasonal time switch was possible if public discussions confirm the need for it.
Putin was Russia’s president between 2000 and 2008, when he was forced to stand down due to the Constitutional limit of no more than two consecutive terms. He became prime minister after the inauguration of his hand-picked successor Medvedev. The two men are now expected to swap jobs.