Russian Parliament Approves Putin As Prime Minister

Russian President Vladimir Putin casts his ballot in Moscow, Sunday, March 2, 2008. Russia's voters are expected to endorse Vladimir Putin's choice of a successor in Sunday's presidential election, allowing Putin to retain a measure of power in his nation whose wealth and global voice have grown even as democratic freedoms diminished. (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)
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Moscow (AP) Russia's parliament has overwhelmingly voted to make Vladimir Putin the prime minister.

Putin's confirmation in the state Duma today comes a day after he handed the presidency to his protégé Dmitry Medvedev.

The 392-to-56 vote caps months of maneuvering by the popular leader to maintain influence after stepping down from the presidency due to term limits.

Medvedev nominated Putin for prime minister shortly after he was sworn in Wednesday. Confirmation was certain because Putin's United Russia Party holds more than two-thirds of the seats in the Duma.

Russia's president has more formal power than the prime minister, but Putin's unprecedented move has left Russians wondering who will really be in the driver's seat.