by Florentin Ndizeye
Difficult times for the planet Earth, as the COVID-19 pandemic is striking without concession, leading to drastic changes within our ways of living. Meanwhile, one thing that doesn’t change is Putin’s ruling of power in Russia. Just about 2 months ago, the 15th of January, President Vladimir Putin announced major changes regarding the Russian Constitution, as constitutional reforms are planned to set up with Prime Minister Medvedev handing his resignation as a first major measure.
As Medvedev was growly losing popularity, Putin felt the moment to promote new dynamism by choosing Mikhail Mishustin as the new Prime Minister. Despite the reinforcements of the Prime Minister role -the President would now have to accept the government if it is voted by the Duma-, and the President -head of state and head of the armies- the major announcement was the possibility of seeing Putin not going through another term as a President, leading to some fantasies in the Western world.
Vladimir Putin ensured a backpedal with a new amendment that would allow him to ignore the current constitutional ban to run again in 2024 for two more terms. The Kremlin said in a statement that Putin had signed off on the constitutional changes after they were approved by both houses of the country’s parliament and by regional parliaments. The constitutional court must now rule whether the changes are legal before a planned nationwide vote on the shake-up due on 22 April.
If he stays in the Kremlin for another sixteen years, he will have ruled longer than Stalin… Putin explained that the “vertical” presidential power, as he put it, was still needed in Russia as the only way to maintain stability while suggesting there will be no more need for this personalization of power, one day.
A great business is done by the Russian President, as the distraction of the COVID-19 enabled the reform to remain under silence, therefore leaving Putin with all the latitude to potentially held power until the age of 82, which is a delightful age to retire and to mark forever Russia’s history.