I told the Voice of America yesterday, in response to a query about whether I thought Vladimir Putin would become Dimitry Medvedev's prime minister: "I have difficulty seeing Putin as a prime ministerial figure. The prime minister is still subordinate to the president, because of the way the Russian constitution is configured. I think this was a symbolic statement, simply saying he accepts the leadership of Putin. But, I also think they will still find another way for Putin to exercise a preeminent leadership."
I accept the point that the constitution could be changed.
Why not, however, just adopt the Napoleonic model? Napoleon was granted by virtue of a referendum (which many believe was fixed) the title, "First Consul for life."