About 70% of Russians have no problems with Putin divorce – poll

Vladimir Putin and Lydumila Putin file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 7, 2013) More than two-thirds of Russians don’t believe that the status of a country’s president deprives him or her of the right to divorce, an opinion poll suggests.

Asked, “Does the president have the right to divorce, in your opinion?”, 71% of those questioned by the Superjob.ru portal on Friday answered in the affirmative. Every fifth respondent answered in the negative, and 9% were undecided.

In a similar 2007 survey when then French president Nicolas Sarkozy announced his divorce, 87% of respondents concurred with the view that the president has an unquestionable right to end his marriage while 8% backed the view that a public office so high rules this out.

Respondents in Friday’s poll argued that the president is a human being and so he has the right to do what he likes with his private life.

Putin and his wife Lyudmila were commended widely in the survey for going public with their decision to divorce. “Better be honest than devious,” “Nothing human is alien to him. The law gives him this right as well,” and “Everyone has a right to private life” were some of the comments.

The view that the president has a right to divorce was shared by 73% of the male and 69% of the female respondents.

Those who disagreed argued that the head of state needs an impeccable reputation and must be a model to imitate, and that discord in his family is a serious stain on his image.

“He’s setting a poor example,” was one of the comments. “If the president can’t build normal relationships in his family, how can he govern other people?” was another.

Superjob.ru questioned 1,600 people across Russia.

The Putin couple are not yet formally divorced.