According to Fort-Russ News outlet the American financial news daily Bloomberg has announced that President Putin may seek to remain in power beyond the expiration of his current term which ends in 2024. According to FRN journalist Joaquin Flores in his article titled “Will Putin Stay In Power After 2024?” (FRN 2019/07/13) according to some Bloomberg writers leaks from within the Kremlin and State Duma suggest that this plan is being worked out by Mr. Putin and members of United Russia to change the Russian Constitution. Bloomberg has published an article titled “Kremlin Ponders Ways for Putin to Hold On Even If He Steps Down” by Henry Meyer, Ilya Arkhipov, and Stepan Kravchenko in which it is proposed that in order to stay in power beyond 2024, Mr. Putin would enhance the powers of the Prime Minister and the Duma while reducing the powers of the presidency.
Apparently the office of prime minister has no term limits, though United Russia would need to garner a majority after each general election and possibly work with coalitions of various parties, or as a minority government – the last two often lasting a very short time. This would in many ways make Russia’s parliamentary system similar to most Western European systems in that the Prime Minister and his government holds the power while the office of the president or a constitutional monarch would serve as head of state with limited prerogatives.
According to Flores, the Bloomberg report states that there exists “an unconfirmed leak that the Kremlin plans to change the electoral legislation in Russia by 2021 so that Vladimir Putin after the elections of 2024 can remain in power as prime minister, and could control the State Duma also as the leader of United Russia.” (Joaquin Flores, “Will Putin Stay In Power After 2024?”, FRN, 2019/07/13) Moreover, the authors of the Bloomberg article suggest that Russia’s move to follow such a scenario might originate from President Putin’s Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev who recently has managed to pull off the same rearrangement of power and authority in Kazakhstan. However, Russia is Russia and Kazakhstan is Kazakhstan.
Bloomberg’s suggests that other scenarios might include enhancing the State Council or the Security Council both of which Mr. Putin is the head of, or alternatively Mr. Putin could somehow a forced union between Belarus and Russia thus creating a new state with a new constitution. Flores suggest that neither of the scenarios would work well. In a conversation with URA.RU, chairman and political consultant Dmitry Gusev of the supervisory board of the consulting company Baxter Group, “expressed doubt that the scenario described in the Bloomberg material is feasible.” (Flores, FRN)
Changing the balance of power between the presidency and the State Suma could severely undermine the current stable political. This point is well taken given that Russia’s entire political history has always benefited from a strong political core to give direction and leadership. While a Western European parliamentary system in which the office of the prime minister would hold the cards of political power can often lead to loose of direction and leadership with the ability to make effective changes when need because he has to maintain a parliamentary majority. Moreover, as Gusev makes clear that the Russian political authorities have no interest in changing the constitution. or as he put it ” United Russia had more than once the opportunity to change electoral legislation, but this did not happen.” (Flores, FRN).
Moreover, other political analysts such as Nikolai Mironov commented “every scenario of constitutional reform carries risks, including in terms of the stability of the political system and the weakening of the institution of the presidency.” (Flores, FRN) The impact of a weakened presidency and the destabilization effect that might have would only benefit the Western Europe and the United States who would certainly take advantage of chaos and a power vacuum at the top to effect a regime change – Yeltsin and Gorbachev 2.0. Constitutional changes are best undertaken during times of domestic and international stability.
Another suggestion as to how President Putin could continue in power beyond 2024 is to force through a full union with Belarus effectively establishing a new in need of a new constitution and political structures, perhaps something similar to the structure of the USSR, in which each Soviet Republic had their own respective right and powers as approved by the Supreme Soviet and Central Committee in Moscow. However, the creation of a union nation-state, such as existed in the USSR, cannot be predicated on the desire of one political figure trying to hold on to power beyond his term.
Furthermore, Mr. Putin is too much of a statesman, and too keen a political chess player to be suckered into such a conundrum and possible political quagmire that could and most likely would doom the project of creating a great Eurasian Union State made up of former Soviet Republics by force. The authors of the Bloomberg article suggest that “Options being explored include pressing neighboring Belarus into uniting with Russia to create a new state so that Putin can sidestep constitutional term limits.” (Bloomberg). However, the union of Belarus is not a guaranteed thing, and given how President Lukashenko seems to move in all sorts of directions on this issue it is unclear how Belarus would react to being pressured by Moscow to be part of a new state.
One cannot help to be aware of the numerous times that Lukashenko has played political footsie with Western Europe and the border countries such as Poland, Estonia, etc. Even in Lukashenko’s recent spat with Moscow over the unfortunate and accidental transfer of ‘dirty oil’ to Belarus, the leader of Belarus went so far as to propose oil shipments be brought in from abroad be transferred to Belarus via the Ukraine. Naturally President Putin is aware of these issues as are those around him in the Kremlin and the State Duma. With exception to certain xtream political elements within the Duma, Vladimir Zhirinovsky being one who comes to mind, no one would suggest using strong arm techniques to force a union between Russia and Belarus, so that any political leader could keep his job beyond the current constitutional limits imposed upon him by the nation’s constitution.
Furthermore, it seems that forcing a political union between Russia and Belarus, or any other former Soviet Republics would be totally contrary to Mr. Putin’s own political genius that makes him the greatest political leader and statesman of the century, Having read many of President Putin’s ideas and plans, and having listen to him speak on the desire for the creation of what might best be called a Union of Eurasian Autonomous Republics, or whatever name ends up being used, Mr. Putin seeks a truly free union that respects the will of the people within the former Soviet Republic as to whether they wish to seek being fully grafted into the new state or perhaps follow a different arrangement in relation to a new Eurasian super state. Trying to force a union with Belarus will only end up harming the prospects for a union of equals of brotherhood.
Therefore, how should one take such uncorroborated and totally unsubstantiated stories that Mr. Putin is secretly scheming in some dark smokey back office in the Kremlin trying desperately to hold on to power? Perhaps the best way to refute such rubbish is to either ignore it, though that can lead people to continue to spread the poison, or one can listen to the arguments being spewed against Mr. Putin and confront their lies with facts and with logic. All the suggestions that the authors of the Bloomberg article suggested for how Mr. Putin could seize further power and prolong his power past 2024 are problematic and would result in the very opposite happening. Not only would political and social upheaval come about from various segments of society that could make a dog’s dinner out of the political and social turmoil that would ensue do to confusion and misunderstanding of such constitutional reforms, but it would provide the exact social, economic, and political chaos that the CIA and the US government so love as it permits them to slither unnoticed causing further chaos.
It would seem that Bloomberg, who already has a reputation for biased and erroneous reporting has decided to get into the fake news business, especially as it pertains to Mr. Putin and Russia. It might be suggested that if those of us who love and respect Mr. Putin should call for a national referendum on the question of term limits for the presidency of Russia, or equally as good call for an extraordinary all Russian referendum that would make Mr. Putin President for Life. First, no leader since the late Comrade Stalin as done so much for restoring Russia’s power and then protecting her sovereignty. Remember, always remember how thing were during and after the US henchmen Yeltsin and Gorbachev sold out the USSR and Russia.
Second, In spite of attempts by the US and our many other so-called Western partners to destroy Russia’s economy via outrageous and ridiculous sanctions for everything from how we supposedly mistreat gay people, to the democratic and lawful decision of the people of Crimea to rejoin the Motherland, our supposed machinations in the Ukraine, and now the supposed US 2016 election interference by Russia, Mr. Putin has continued to build Russia, its industry and agricultural to be as strong as our rebuilt military which is the envy of the world.Mr. Putin has strengthened Russia’s military and political and economic relations and alliances with China, India, Pakistan, Iran, Venezuela,
Our Russian diplomats in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are know for their fairness and professionalism because Mr. Putin appointed the golden measure of all foreign ministers, of course his name is Sergei Lavrov. Finally many Russians need to look at their own lives.Yes many still are on the margins but rebuilding a nation from the destruction of Gorbachev and Yeltsin cannot be achieved overnight or in a month or decade of overnight. Mr. Putin has increased wages, jobs, the over all standard of living in Russia for a great many people. Furthermore he has stifled or curbed the power of many of the oligarchs.
Has Mr. Putin created a utopia? No! There are always imperfections in any system, and as we all know those societies that try to build a utopian society usually end up constructing a monstrous dystopia when the ideals are cast aside out of the necessity of survival against wreckers from at home and abroad. If any Russian leader deserves to be anointed President for Life, it is Vladimir Putin, and this honor should be bestowed by the people of Russia. Mr. Putin does not need any unrealistic and dangerous schemes to hold on to power. By the way, did anyone at Bloomberg even asked Mr. Putin or Dmitry Peskov about what Mr. Putin might do in the future?
Maybe he just wants to go fishing and hunting and enjoy life after 2024, though God knows that Russia and the world would be much poorer as political genius and statesmanship do not grow on trees or in turnip gardens.