Russia considers changing Constitution to allow Putin to remain in power

The Man

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During a meeting of the ruling United Russia party on Tuesday, some officials hinted that Russian President Vladimir Putin could remain in power after his term limit ends.

The Russian president was re-elected for a second six-year term this year, but he will not be allowed to run for re-election in 2024. Nevertheless, officials are already suggesting that Putin, who has already been in power for almost two decades, might be able to modify the constitution to remain in the seat of power.

“There are questions in society, esteemed Vladimir Vladimirovich,” Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, said to Putin, according to a transcript of the event. “This is the time when we could answer these questions, without in any way threatening the fundamental provisions [of the constitution].… The law, even one like the Basic Law, isn’t dogma." Volodin also noted that the current Russian constitution was written 25 years ago, and that the quarter-century anniversary might be a good moment to re-examine its provisions.

The comments caused some analysts to speculate that the ruling party is contemplating a constitutional amendment that would allow Putin to remain in control of Russia indefinitely. The constitution has already been altered to extend presidential terms from four to six years.

Kremlin officials, however, said there is no official opinion on whether the constitutions should be amended.

"There is no position on this now. In fact, various expert viewpoints are being expressed, including Volodin’s stance, but no position on this has been outlined and no works in this context are being conducted," Kremlin spokesman Dmitriy Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.

Putin, however, has recently hinted that constitutional amendments are not out of the question. At his annual press conference last week, Putin noted that constitutional changes are “a matter for broad civic discussion.”

Even if he does not change the constitution, Putin would be permitted to run for president again in 2030, since Russian law does not prohibit former presidents from running again after they step down for a term. Putin already did this once, after he took the role of prime minister while his ally Dmitry Medvedev was president from 2008 until 2012.

Putin won the 2018 election with nearly 70 percent of the vote, but many opposition leaders claimed that there was widespread vote rigging. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe determined that Russian citizens had not been given "choice" with "real competition" in Russia’s presidential elections, and noted that there had been unfair pressure exerted on critical voices.
Russia is considering constitutional changes that could allow Vladimir Putin to remain in power

Previously, back in October: Russia's top judge talks of changing Constitution for Putin

It's all quite intense. Nobody actually knows what's gonna happen in 2024, period. Nobody knows what the hell he is gonna do... Will he indeed find some temporary successor, like Medvedev before, and then take over again six years later, in 2030? Or change the Constitution to grant himself another term? Or even abolish the Presidential Elections entirely and just straight up declare himself dictator for life?

Hell, even the dictator of neighboring and closely allied Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, is said to be kinda, well, scared, a this point, even when he met with Putin a day ago, he seemed nervous to many onlookers

Because there is also, in Russian media, now, very open speculation about a whole other route: namely, Lukashenko's little Belarus, which has, actually, been already in a formal "Union" with Russia since late 90s (though, so far, they have not really made that work much, except on paper), and is a loyal member of the EEU and CSTO, would be finally annexed, with Putin then basically becoming the supreme head of the new Union (Soviet or whatever the hell they'll call it lol): Step up Vladimir Putin, president of Belarus?

Where this would leave Lukashenko, not to mention those of his people who do not wish this, is anyone guess.

You can understand why he is upset as hell, so much so, he even spoke out against it openly recenmtly: Lukashenka Says Belarus Will Never Be Part Of Russia

In the end though, I fear (for his sake), he might not end up having much of a choice. Belarus' military and security services are full of pro-Russian (and in many cases ETHNIC Russian) generals and other powerful figures. Russia's intel services have spent years infiltrating them. To the point that Belarusian security agents have on occasion, for example, assisted the Russians in luring and abducting Ukrainians to abduct and jail in Russia: Abducted and illegally detained: the story of Pavlo Hryb, another Ukrainian prisoner of the Kremlin

It may well happen that, in 2024, Lukshenko may have a choice put before him, from Moscow: give up the sovereignty of your country, peacefully; and you can remain in Minsk, as the local Republic ruler, just like back in USSR, you'll still be a powerful and respected official, still have all your wealth and very nice life. Or, try to resist, and we and our associates from your own military and KGB (which is what Belarus' security service is still called, btw haha) will crush any forces still loyal to you, and you and your whole family, including beloved son Nikolai, who'd be 13 or 14 now, whom he been painstakingly grooming to succeed himsef

will be arrested and spend the rest of their lives in some hellhole of a prison camp in Siberia. Or, just be driven out to the woods and whacked quietly...

If, God forbid, such situation does arise, I can certainly picture old Father Luka submitting. Sadly, for those Belarusians who want their country to join Europe... :(
 
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Well, they may as well change the Constitution to reflect what's going to happen anyway. He's going to be president for as long as he wants to be, unless there's something very surprising happening at the grass-root level that nobody knows about, and that's vanishingly unlikely given the reach of the secret police.

Regarding Belarus - didn't you say a while back that Russia was probably going to swallow it in 2018? Sounds as though it might be slightly delayed, but only slightly. What's your prediction for the next Russian mouthful after Belarus? The rest of Ukraine, or one or other of the Baltic states? One thing they can be sure of - if and when Russia grabs Belarus, Trump won't complain.
 
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The Man

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Well, they may as well change the Constitution to reflect what's going to happen anyway. He's going to be president for as long as he wants to be, unless there's something very surprising happening at the grass-root level that nobody knows about, and that's vanishingly unlikely given the reach of the secret police.

Regarding Belarus - didn't you say a while back that Russia was probably going to swallow it in 2018? Sounds as though it might be slightly delayed, but only slightly. What's your prediction for the next Russian mouthful after Belarus? The rest of Ukraine, or one or other of the Baltic states? One thing they can be sure of - if and when Russia grabs Belarus, Trump won't complain.
I don't think he'd go at the Balls. I still say there is absolutely NOTHING there worth a direct military confrontation with NATO, no natural resources, or valuable industries, etc.

I do see, potentially, another invasion of Ukraine. Possibly even before 2024 and Belarus. I've seen lots of reports that, unless the Ukrainians reopen their water channel that they control in Kherson region and are now deliberately blocking with a dam, Crimea, who is fed by that channel, may well start running low on water by next summer. Many think Putin won't let this happen and will, if it comes to that, send troops to take control of the water channel from the Ukrainians. Along with, perhaps, the whole Kherson region...

We shall see...
 
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Not sure what sort of confrontation it'd be with NATO, with President "Whatever Putin Wants Is Fine With Me" sitting in the White House. Heck, if he thought it'd be a way to destroy NATO once and for all, he'd be all for it.
 
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Mind you, I did hear something about Russia thinking about taking back Alaska - Sarah Palin would definitely be able to see Russia from her house if that happened.:D
 

The Man

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If so, that's bad news for Russia, good news for the oligarchs, the Trumpies and Saudis.
I said it before, he ain't gonna leave the Kremlin, at least not of own volition... He can't. He has no choice. If he looses power, he has no guarantees, at all, that whoever leads Russia after him won't either hand him over to the Hague to be tried for all the crap he's done in office, or even put him on a show trial themselves... He can't trust anyone, and has nobody but himself to blame for that too. He destroyed and got rid of anyone there who had honor or principles. Now, he is surrounded by people who would betray own mother for a personal benefit...
 
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There was an interesting segment on Rachel Maddow tonight about Belarus and Montenegro - do you get to see it up in Canada?
 
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