Russian President Vladimir Putin may be hinting he has found a way to stay in power. Today during his annual year-end press conference the Russian leader declared the Russian Constitution could be changed, possibly allowing him to hold a third term, although his intention was not completely clear.
“What might be done in relation to these presidential terms is to remove the ‘consecutive’ clause (in the Russian Constitution concerning the presidential terms of office),” Putin told the customary year-end news conference in Moscow on Thursday. “Yours truly spent two terms in office and then I left and had the constitutional right to take the presidential reigns again, because it was not two terms in a row,” he recalled, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
Putin remarked that this wording made “some political scientists and public figures feel certain confusion.”
Under the Russian Constitution, “the same person cannot take post of Russia’s president for more than two consecutive terms.”
Political pundits immediately jumped on the comments as evidence Putin had found a way to stay in office beyond his current term, which is against the Russian Constitution as it is written.
“The striving to have a maximally balanced and stable political system in the transition period is indeed reasonable and logical,” Anna Fedorova, vice president of the Open New Democracy Fund stressed, adding however that such a period had not yet begun. “I see no reasons to say that we are doomed to enter a zone of political turbulence,” she noted, wrote TASS.
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