How Putin plans to stay on - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15060017
Since he has weakened the power of the presidency, it's a given that he won't try to change to constitution to allow him to stay on as president past 2024.

My guess is that he'll create a new role for himself as a powerful leader of the State Council to direct affairs from the back. The State Council could serve as something like the Politburo of Soviet times.

I wonder why he doesn't just let the Metropolitan crown him Tsar. Putin always loves to be seen with the dignitaries of the Orthodox Church.

Anyways, Trump is going to be livid with envy. :lol:

How Putin plans to stay on

Proposed changes to the Russian constitution pave the way for the president to remain in power.

If one thing was clear about the resignation of Russia's prime minister on Wednesday, it was that a step had been taken toward President Vladimir Putin remaining in power after his term ends in 2024.

When Putin began his annual speech to the federal assembly at noon, no one could have anticipated the string of bombshells that was to follow. After more than an hour of talk about social problems like Russia's long-running population decline, the president suddenly called for a raft of constitutional changes. Parliament, not the president, should appoint the prime minister, he said, and the status and role of the state council, a little-active advisory body, should be enshrined in the constitution.

Appearing with Putin and his ministers mere hours later, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev then announced that he and his government would resign to “give the president of our country the chance to make all decisions necessary” to institute the constitutional changes. The ministers reportedly had no idea this was coming.

State television was just as surprised as everyone else, simply playing Medvedev and Putin's statement in full on the six o'clock news before quickly moving on to easier topics like the additional benefits Putin had promised young families in his speech.

By evening, Putin had nominated as prime minister Mikhail Mishustin, the long-serving head of the tax service who plays hockey with the president and his friends on Putin's birthdays. While he's known as an effective bureaucrat, Mishustin is far from a political heavyweight, and few would have picked him as the next head of government.

The word on the lips of many pundits trying to understand what had just happened was “transition.” Since the constitution currently bars Putin from running for president again in 2024, it had been widely expected that he would eventually move to some other post while keeping a tight grip on the reins of power. That process has started.

The government is dumbfounded, it didn't expect this, and maybe Medvedev didn't expect this either, so what can we say?” Gleb Pavlovsky, a former adviser in the administrations of both Putin and Medvedev, told POLITICO. “Of course this shows that the Kremlin is having thoughts about transition."

"It's not clear if it's acting correctly," he added. "But all decisions will be dictated by this.”

Weakened presidency

The proposed constitutional changes would weaken the presidency while giving greater power and independence to the parliament and state council, both of which have been seen even before now as possible landing spots for Putin. He could head a revamped state council comprised of regional governors, most of whom were appointed by Putin. Or else the Kremlin-loyal parties in parliament, which is chaired by a former Putin aide, could name him prime minister.

“These two options have opened up. There's a bigger corridor of possibility than there was before,” said Oleg Ignatov, a political consultant who previously worked for the ruling United Russia party. “Putin likes to create possibilities for himself, he likes to open lots of doors within the system and leave the decision until the very last minute. Now the system will be in a state of expectation.

Other constitutional changes proposed by Putin in his speech seem designed to weaken his opponents in anticipation of his move to another position, particularly his call to “create effective cooperation between state and municipal organs.” Opposition activists have recently managed to win seats on municipal bodies including the Moscow city council.

He also stipulated that Russian court decisions should take precedent over international ones in an apparent snub of the European Court of Human Rights, which often rules in favor of Kremlin critics. And the president will be limited to two terms total, rather than two terms in a row as is the case now.

While Putin called for the changes to be put to a popular vote, possibly during regional elections in September, this will almost certainly be a formality. State television will promote them relentlessly, and then officials will jump to implement them.

The working group announced to draft the constitutional amendments includes parliamentarians and well-known cultural figures and athletes, all of them supporters of Putin.

The new social benefits promised by Putin in his speech and the appointment of a new prime minister seemed geared toward shoring up popular support before any major political moves. GDP is estimated to have grown by only 1 percent in 2019, and disposable incomes have been falling. A recent hike in the pension age remains extremely unpopular.

Putin's approval ratings are around 60 percent, 20 points below what they were five years ago.

Bye-bye Medvedev
At the very least, Medvedev's departure will be greeted warmly, as more than half of Russians disapprove of his job performance. By getting rid of him, Putin can argue that Russia's government is not stagnating along with its economy.

Although Mishustin is not the candidate to institute major economic reforms, it's expected he will carefully manage the country's finances and reduce waste. “His ideology is total control,” Pavlovsky said.

But perhaps his greatest quality is that he is not seen as a potential rival or successor to Putin.


The other constitutional changes will help eliminate any political obstructions to Putin's switch to a different office, said Georgy Satarov, a former aide to ex-President Boris Yeltsin and one of the authors of the current constitution. He argued that Putin's immediate appointment of Medvedev to a new position on the security council could allow him in the future to keep a close watch on that body, which is comprised of the heads of Russia's military and security agencies and headed by the president.

Analyst Yevgeny Minchenko argued that the changes would create a more balanced government. However, others doubt this.

Putin may hold onto power, but the lack of political competition and new ideas calls into doubt the long-term viability of his government, Pavlovsky said.

“I don't see even the minimal contours of a working system,” he added. “These are all ornamental changes that can work only as long as the existing regime is preserved. But a transition should be prepared for a situation in which Putin leaves, and this system should be stable in new conditions.”


Putin: L'État, c'est moi
Last edited by Atlantis on 18 Jan 2020 13:27, edited 1 time in total.
#15060019
Maybe he does not actually want to be a Tsar? Although I understand or sometimes even approve of the suspicion -- out of necessity.

If the change got implemented, he stepped down like Hu Jintao of China did, and his successors did not engage in dog-fights, then it would be safe to say Russia truly changed. Of course, the chance seems slim.
#15060269
I see it as a positive change - Putin wants to avoid mistake of Soviet leaders in the 80s when they stayed in power for too long and were too old to introduce reforms. He wants to oversee it all in case things go wrong. Max 2 terms of presidency in total is a move in the right direction too, otherwise president gains too much power and becomes too difficult to oust. Overall it seems to be evolution of Russian political system towards western parliamentary democracy. One potentially unresolved problem is how to avoid splitting of the one strong pro Russia party into too many small parties all acting only in their own interest. It may be beneficial for Russia to adopt British/American electoral system to resolve this issue.
#15060278
fokker wrote:Overall it seems to be evolution of Russian political system towards western parliamentary democracy.


I don't think that's the intention here, but if it is, it will be a difficult transition. A political system is as much about culture as it is about the design of institutions.
#15060284
fokker wrote:I see it as a positive change - Putin wants to avoid mistake of Soviet leaders in the 80s when they stayed in power for too long and were too old to introduce reforms.


Whatever gave you that idea? If anything he'll outdo Soviet leaders in political longevity. He's been in power for 20 years and the current changes show that he has no intention of letting go. He is just looking for ways to perpetuate his rule without changing the constitution too much.

Making the State Counsel into a powerful organ of state similar to that of the Politburo in Soviet times, he can decide Russia's future from behind the scenes as the head of the State Counsel. That saves him the bother of having to rig elections and the nuisance of daily government business.
#15060508
Atlantis wrote:Whatever gave you that idea?


He said it himself in discussion with war veterans. He is well aware that the problem of smooth power transition after his death needs to be resolved. Without solving this problem Russia cannot prosper as events of 1990s could repeat. The goal is stable "Russian" democracy, distinct from western liberal democracy.
#15060536
Here’s an opinion different from all “mainstream” media of west is trying to propagate. I believe this comment is a bit naive. Nonetheless, approaching the issue from the right angle.
There is the way of looking at eastern politics from west in thinking that due to the fact that leadrs clinge on to power so much that it is only logical that the reason any structural reform to any political system implemented must be aimed to increase this leaders power; it is not possible for them to also think about their countries and people’s interest.
I detest that. Don’t get me wrong. I still do believe this reform has a lot to do with Putin’s clinge of power. That’s why I said this post was naive. Still, while thinking about the issue it is crucial to not neglect the possibility that these reforms can be beneficial for people at the end.
One must try to see all angles



fokker wrote:I see it as a positive change - Putin wants to avoid mistake of Soviet leaders in the 80s when they stayed in power for too long and were too old to introduce reforms. He wants to oversee it all in case things go wrong. Max 2 terms of presidency in total is a move in the right direction too, otherwise president gains too much power and becomes too difficult to oust. Overall it seems to be evolution of Russian political system towards western parliamentary democracy. One potentially unresolved problem is how to avoid splitting of the one strong pro Russia party into too many small parties all acting only in their own interest. It may be beneficial for Russia to adopt British/American electoral system to resolve this issue.
#15060553
@fokker, nobody who has looked at the proposed changes can assume that they have any purpose other than to perpetuate his rule for life.

Russian opposition wants big protest over Putin's plan to 'rule for ever'

Most people think they live forever. Leaders who have been in power for so long cling to power even if they are in a wheelchair or can't form a coherent thought. He's probably going to groom a successor at one point or other. But these things often don't pan out.
#15063968
I agree with fokker here. Putin wants a smooth transition and closing of the Putin era, so he has to retire gradually. His intended reforms also seem to aim to make Russia less authoritarian and more parliamentary and balanced, thus more Western-like basically. It's like he means to make Russia more EU-compatible as the Anglos have lost much of their grip on Europe with Brexit. I guess Serbia will join the EU too if it works out for him.

Image
The Moscow Times wrote:What Changes Is Putin Planning for Russia’s Constitution?

Updated: Jan. 16, 2020

The amendments proposed by Putin on Wednesday would bring sweeping changes to Russia's political system.Yevgeny Biyatov / Sputnik / POOL / TASS
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced several constitutional amendments in the closing minutes of his annual state of the nation address Wednesday.

While Putin said the package of amendments should be put to a nationwide vote, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that vote does not entail a referendum.

The national vote on Putin’s package of constitutional amendments is expected to be held before May 1, a source in Russia’s upper house of parliament told the state-run TASS news agency.

Here’s a look at the constitutional amendments Putin proposed:

1. Limit the presidency to two terms, regardless of whether they were served back-to-back.

2. Tighten restrictions on presidential candidates, including banning them from holding second citizenship or permanent residency abroad and requiring them to have lived in Russia for 25 years.

3. Prioritize the Russian Constitution over international treaties and other acts.

4. Make the State Council — Putin’s advisory body that he established when he was first elected in 2000 — an official governing body.

5. Ban lawmakers, cabinet ministers, judges and other federal-level officials from holding second citizenship or permanent residency abroad.

6. Grant Russia’s lower house of parliament the authority to appoint the prime minister, their deputies and cabinet ministers. Bar the president from rejecting these nominations.

7. Grant senators the authority to consult the president on appointing the heads of all security agencies.

8. Grant senators the power to dismiss “dishonorable” Constitutional and Supreme Court judges based on the president’s proposal.

9. Grant Constitutional Court judges the authority to review draft laws at the president’s request before the head of state signs them.

10. Set Russia’s minimum wage at or above the poverty line and adjust pensions to inflation every year.
#15064076
Beren wrote:Putin wants a smooth transition and closing of the Putin era, so he has to retire gradually. His intended reforms also seem to aim to make Russia less authoritarian and more parliamentary and balanced, thus more Western-like basically. It's like he means to make Russia more EU-compatible as the Anglos have lost much of their grip on Europe with Brexit. I guess Serbia will join the EU too if it works out for him.


On the contrary, Putin wants to perpetuate the system Putin by instituting the State Council as a new powerful organ of state to be led by Putin in perpetuity.

He doesn't want to return to the position of PM to deal with the daily running of government. He doesn't want to change the constitution to extend the term of the presidency to prevent that future presidents could hold on for life.

He wants to stay in charge to run the country from the backseat. There is not a snow-ball's chance in hell that he'll make the country less authoritarian. The system Putin is a close-nit net of officials and oligarchs which keep the system running. Nobody in this system can afford to let Putin go because it would put the system in danger.
#15064088
Beren wrote:I agree with fokker here. Putin wants a smooth transition and closing of the Putin era, so he has to retire gradually. His intended reforms also seem to aim to make Russia less authoritarian and more parliamentary and balanced, thus more Western-like basically. It's like he means to make Russia more EU-compatible as the Anglos have lost much of their grip on Europe with Brexit. I guess Serbia will join the EU too if it works out for him.


The proposal that was rubberstamped by the Duma shows a different picture:
- Yes, 2 terms limit for the president.
- Duma must confirm the prime minister, but the president can still dissolve the Duma if no agreement is reached.
- The president must "consult" the State Council, whatever that means.
- The president decides on the composition of the State Council.
- The exact status of the State Council is to be determined by law.
- The president gets a veto that cannot be overruled by the Duma, if the law in question is unconstitutional.
- The State Council can fire judges (including constitutional judges) on the recommendation of the president if they violate the "honor and dignity" of the office.
- National law trumps international law. Hardly relevant since Russia ignores ECHR rulings anyway.

Source in German: https://verfassungsblog.de/herrschaft-u ... erfassung/
#15064095
Atlantis wrote:On the contrary, Putin wants to perpetuate the system Putin by instituting the State Council as a new powerful organ of state to be led by Putin in perpetuity.

He doesn't want to return to the position of PM to deal with the daily running of government. He doesn't want to change the constitution to extend the term of the presidency to prevent that future presidents could hold on for life.

He wants to stay in charge to run the country from the backseat. There is not a snow-ball's chance in hell that he'll make the country less authoritarian. The system Putin is a close-nit net of officials and oligarchs which keep the system running. Nobody in this system can afford to let Putin go because it would put the system in danger.

Putin knows his system can't live on without him, and he has to retire and even die someday, so he must change it in a way that makes it work by itself. He seems aware that a system based on one person's charisma and talent is not viable in the long term and he, as a good authoritarian, has been the exception rather than the rule. He understands the limits of authoritarianism, which have defined Russian history all along. He considers his own era and system transitional and believes Russia can be non-authoritarian if it can ally with Europe. As a matter of fact such an alliance requires such changes.

Rugoz wrote:The proposal that was rubberstamped by the Duma shows a different picture:
- Yes, 2 terms limit for the president.
- Duma must confirm the prime minister, but the president can still dissolve the Duma if no agreement is reached.
- The president must "consult" the State Council, whatever that means.
- The president decides on the composition of the State Council.
- The exact status of the State Council is to be determined by law.
- The president gets a veto that cannot be overruled by the Duma, if the law in question is unconstitutional.
- The State Council can fire judges (including constitutional judges) on the recommendation of the president if they violate the "honor and dignity" of the office.
- National law trumps international law. Hardly relevant since Russia ignores ECHR rulings anyway.

Source in German: https://verfassungsblog.de/herrschaft-u ... erfassung/

It still apprears to be less authoritarian and more parliamentary and balanced than the recent constitution. It's a move in the right direction anyway.
#15064146
Beren wrote:Putin knows his system can't live on without him, and he has to retire and even die someday, so he must change it in a way that makes it work by itself. He seems aware that a system based on one person's charisma and talent is not viable in the long term and he, as a good authoritarian, has been the exception rather than the rule. He understands the limits of authoritarianism, which have defined Russian history all along. He considers his own era and system transitional and believes Russia can be non-authoritarian if it can ally with Europe. As a matter of fact such an alliance requires such changes.


Rationally, we all know that we have to die one day, yet I haven't seen a single leader who has successfully groomed a successor. A successor becomes a rival at a certain point, which the acting leader has to eliminate to perpetuate his/her own rule.

Personally, I would like nothing better than a rapprochement between the EU and a less authoritarian Russia; however, that is wishful thinking which it would be foolish to give in to.

Putin has no choice but to perpetuate his rule. The system doesn't allow democratic change. He is smart enough to know that there's no point in making definite plans at this point. He has still got a few more years to come up with a final solution. The solution he seems to aim for now is to become head of the State Council and to give the State Council the power to direct the country from behind the scenes.

Putin the puppet master. Yes, that's a position he would like. :lol:
#15064155
Atlantis wrote:Rationally, we all know that we have to die one day

We don't believe it and we all act like it never happens, though, and expect others to do the same.

Now Putin acts like he really knows he dies someday and Russia won't end with it, and you just can't believe it.

Putin the puppet master. Yes, that's a position he would like.

He means to conduct the transitional period and the closing of the Putin era himself, of course.
#15064195
Atlantis wrote:Rationally, we all know that we have to die one day, yet I haven't seen a single leader who has successfully groomed a successor. A successor becomes a rival at a certain point, which the acting leader has to eliminate to perpetuate his/her own rule.

What about the Kims in Pyongyang?

Does Putin have a son?
#15064197
Crantag wrote:What about the Kims in Pyongyang?


They struggle with each other, very much like how Saudi Arabia prince struggle for the highest power. And from historical records, after several generations the regime inevitably collapses.

Kin Jong-un resorted to assassinating his eldest brother.


Crantag wrote:Does Putin have a son?


Two daughters.

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