The presidential elections in Russia in 2012 are a hot topic for Russian mass media and blogosphere. There are some doubts that president Medvedev will join the race ignoring his advantages as the incumbent. So to say, the race will be an open seat one.
I have some doubts that this is possible in Russia, however. Not to go for a new term is almost equivalent to admitting that the first term was unsuccessful and challenges all decisions during the term. President Medvedev is an active participant of the legislation process and has drafted many laws. Their quality and legitimacy will be scrutinized.
There is not only domestic activity but also many international agreements and negotiations. If president Medvedev resigns all of them, especially current negotiations, will be reconsidered with an inevitable loss in position.
This is not to say that president Medvedev has to win the race. This is to say that he cannot allow nonparticipation.