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World leaders - do they know when to step down?

Fiona Crack | 14:11 UK time, Monday, 6 August 2007

Morning, afternoon, evening. Peter Dobbie here with news of today's World Have Your Say -- on air as usual, later today. On the programme today we want your thoughts on this little lot.

First off, world leaders, love them or hate them, some of them go on for a very long time, but if we (the voters) like them why shouldn't they simply be allowed to go on, and on, and on. The reason I ask is that the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has confirmed that he will try to change the law to allow him to remain in power indefinitely. Under the current constitution, Mr Chavez will have to leave office at the end of his term in 2012. But he says he wants to remain in power for as long as Venezuelans continue to support him. If you've been following any of the recent news stories surrounding Mr Chavez he is right. He IS popular.

Now this all follows those rumours out of Moscow over, what, the past six months or so, speculating that we should get more of Vladimir Putin as Russian President that we had bargained for. Constitutionally he's only due to serve two terms - but there have been calls inside Russia, from the nationalist right wing, for him to stay on. He's said come March he's gone, toast, out of the Kremlin, but is that a case of "the man protesteth too much" or will be actually go ?

Now, there is undoubtedly a common link between these two men -- they're both tough guys, they're popular at home and the rest of the world would maybe view more of the same with a sence of uncertainty. What do you think ? Is this democracy in action, or is it dictatorship by another name ? If a President can catch a popular mood, and achieve success at home, while defending his country overseas, what's wrong with that ? Let us know what you feel.


Also today: Iraq. Did you catch this article in the New York Times ? If you didn't here

This is interesting stuff because it's main thrust is that the US led coalition in Iraq is getting somewhere, and this is a "war that we just might win". Oh, really ? The authors say troop morale is good, the US forces are very happy with their boss (General David Petraeus) and they now have the numbers needed to make a real difference.

Do you buy this ? This seems at odds with what even the White House has been saying, not committing to anything very specific. However is there a sence in the US now that American forces will pull-out sometime soon, and how and when will that judgement be made ?

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Talk to you later, Peter.


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