Russia

Russia's State Duma Votes To Reset Putin's Current Term, Allowing His Re-election in 2024

The amendment lets Putin stay in power until 2036.

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Vladimir Putin officially solidified his grasp on power last week when the State Duma, Russia's lower legislative chamber, voted unanimously to pass a constitutional amendment modifying the structure of presidential term limits. Putin will be allowed to once again run for office in 2024, when his current term is set to expire, and stay in power for two consecutive six-year terms.

The amendment was introduced by Valentina Tereshkova, former astronaut and current Duma member of the United Russia Party. She implored the Duma to reset Putin's previous presidential terms, allowing him to seek re-election without the restrictions of constitutional law.

Additionally, the amendment would give the president stronger veto power and the authority to appoint different members of the cabinet at will, without altering the government's overall structure. The president could also gain the ability to become a lifelong senator if he chooses not to run again for office.

Russian policy experts have speculated how exactly Putin will retain his authority in the coming years. Some thought that Putin's new placeholder might be former tax chief Mikhail Mishustin, who was appointed as the new prime minister in January after Dmitry Medvedev resigned. Shortly after news of the resignation broke out, Putin had proposed a constitutional amendment that would shift some power from the executive branch to the Duma.

Yet it looks like Putin decided to forego democratic formalities altogether, seizing power in the most direct way possible. The Russian constitution is written not to give power to the people but to give power to the people who already have it, prominent libertarian activist Mikhail Svetov wrote on Twitter.

The Kremlin has reached the finish line on formalizing Russia's corporate state, Yabloko Party Leader Grigori Yavlinsky wrote on Facebook. By nullifying Putin's current presidential term and altering how constitutional amendments are passed, Putin can overcome any remaining legal obstacles to permanent rule.

The proposed amendment contradicts the basic tenets of the Russian constitution, said Kirill Rogov, a senior research fellow at the Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, in an interview with Echo of Moscow Radio. The Duma is illegally trying to implement it, he said, making Putin's move an effective coup d'etat.

A coalition consisting of Russian opposition leaders, human rights activists, and constitutional law experts submitted an appeal to the European Union asking for advice on how to move forward. The appeal's authors urged Russian citizens to publicly express their dissent towards the amendment, which would "strengthen the undemocratic vertical of power…and narrow down the autonomy of local self-government."

If Putin stays president until 2036, he will have been in power for 36 years, longer than even Stalin's rule. Russia's constitutional court continues to spurt out legal jargon designed to confuse the public, but the underlying message remains clear: Putin's autocracy has no further need to continue even the illusion of democracy.

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  1. Czar Putin. Who cares?

    This guy is an ex-KGB tyrant and the Russians get what they deserve if they let this clown remain in power forever.

    Freedom isn’t free.

    1. I agree. If a free nation allows a clown to remain in power they get what they deserve. Freedom isn’t free. Let’s hope the U.S. does better…..

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    2. Putin has been a great leader for Russia, this is a wise move.
      Russians don’t do anything but autocrats.
      The West hates Putin for not buying their bullshit, being a nationalist (instead of globalist) whose loyalty is to the country he leads rather than the international ruling caste, and for reversing the globalist rape of Russia overseen by Yeltsin.

      1. I’ve always wondered how someone becomes a bootlicking admirer of a petty thug and tyrant. Perhaps you can explain the process you took, Nardz?

        (1) Putin has destroyed much of the freedoms Russians recovered after the fall of communism.

        (2) He has corrupted the nation’s judiciary, so the rule of law there again means nothing.

        (3) He institutionalize corruption into the very heart of the Russian economy, making it almost impossible to root out.

        (4) His lust for power and wealth has ensured Russia will remain a First-World country with Third-World rot at it’s core. A “great leader for Russia” would have made the country’s endemic problems better, not many, many times worse.

        (5) And because his rule leaves Russia no way forward, Putin has filled the void with hollow nationalistic bluster and the low-grade mischief his Third World power allows.

        Some hero for Nardz, huh?

        1. You’re a model progressive, grb.
          Ignorant, self-righteous, and without any redeeming qualities.

        2. And for all the other stuff he’s done, the highways are still shitty and the Trans-Siberian Railroad is falling apart.

          1. You’re saying the S.O.B. can’t even make the railroads run on time? That’s the last straw…..

    3. Inform yourself – he was a low-level KGB director who did nearly nothing before moving on to be the mayor of St Petersburg…he was later director of the FSB for about a year.

      Have you ever been to Russia? Didn’t think so. It’s Russia’s business, not ours.

      I have friends there who like him, and others who hate him.

      His administration hasn’t murdered even 1% of the innocent civilians killed by the USA and their illegal wars, so be careful about throwing rocks from that glass house of yours. Trump, Obama, and Bush II are all war criminals.

  2. Does he realize he cannot get Trump elected after 2024?

    1. Activate the clone!

    2. Which is why he is grooming Gabbard as his next asset.

      1. I’d like to do some grooming on Tulsi…

        1. Get in line!

  3. I’ve heard that as one of his first moves, Putin plans to declare a national emergency over the coronavirus pandemic and use his emergency powers to cancel the US presidential elections.

  4. Is the common consensus among libertarians (or even Libertarians) that the gov’t shouldn’t be limiting who people can vote for? No term-limits. No 22nd Amendment. If the Russians want 36 years of Putin, who is Reason.com to say they are wrong?

    1. >>No term-limits. No 22nd Amendment. If the Russians want 36 years of Putin…

      word.

    2. IMHO, expecting consensus or consistency from Libertarians is a fool’s errand. You can argue that’s not very different from other political philosophies, but consistency is Libertarianism’s biggest selling point : It’s simple-answer-to-everything template for answering any question. Libertarians love feeding everyday problems into the wood-cog gearwork of their Answer Machine and pointing with gleeful delight if something particularly perverse pops out the other end. But I’ve always had the impression that big issues always bend towards their inclinations, all logic be damned. Kinda of like how your hand guides a Ouija board marker to the right answer even without conscious intent….

    3. I don’t think there is consensus among libertarians on that point. There are some who argue that term limits are an infringement on liberty – specifically, the right to vote for whoever you want. There are others who argue that term limits are a speed bump for government and therefore tend to enhance individual liberty.

      Based on my observations of the term limits experiment in Ohio, term limits do reduce the power of elected officials but the power vacumn is immediately filled by unelected bureaucrats. Power did not, as we were promised, devolve to the people.

      That said, I don’t think there are any libertarians supporting how Putin is pushing this change through. Libertarians still believe in the Rule of Law.

      1. Then the Libertarians should still be supportive of Putin. He’s done this all by the book. The Duma proposed it, voted on it, and passed it, all in accordance with the Law.

        1. It’s possible to recognize that some set of acts are entirely legal without being supportive of the person(s) involved or the results achieved.

          For a parallel here in the US, per SCOTUS, no-knock warrants are legal, and I recognize that. However, I don’t support them being a broadly employed enforcement tactic. They are far beyond being overused, and I feel only someone despicable would approve a SWAT team executing a no-knock warrant for a guy allegedly possessing firearms illegally, and who may very well have been asleep in his home when said SWAT team fired on the house from outside, killing him. Seems like they could have arrested him with less collateral damage while he was on the way back home from Kroger with a bag of ice cream and Pabst.

    4. The 22nd Amendment was based on experience – with multiple terms FDR was able to accumulate a lot of power. Of course, there were other factors like a depression and a war etc, but it did look like one-man rule.

      Now, during the debate on what became the 22nd amendment, a Congress member with the apt name of Maverick proposed that term limits apply to Congress too, but nobody supported him.

  5. One would think the guy would like to retire and enjoy the billions he has stashed away in safe havens around the world. Yes, he loves power and palace intrigues but sooner or later he gets knocked off his perch by a younger, tougher challenger and others who want to get the old man out of the way.

    1. My theory is much of Putin’s petty mischief and evil is caused by his frustration over finding something to do. Consider : He destroyed all his political opposition, but at the cost of corrupting Russia’s freedoms, politics, media, and judiciary. He enriched himself and his cronies, but at the cost of hardwiring corruption into the very core of the country’s economy.

      So he’s secure and rich – his associates fat & happy – but getting there made his nation a third-world-level mess. What’s left except nationalistic bluster and petty malice?

      1. “but at the cost of corrupting Russia’s freedoms, politics, media, and judiciary”

        Lol
        Go suck more Yeltsin dick, you totalitarian piece of trash

        1. To be clear: grb is spouting straight Open Society (Soros) talking points without any context.
          Note the vapid generality of his criticism.
          “My theory is much of Putin’s petty mischief and evil is caused by his frustration over finding something to do.”
          I mean, it’s not like he has a shitload of hobbies he regularly demonstrates. Nope, must be boring to do those things while juggling aggression on your own borders and aiding allies. It’s great that Putin walked in to a fully functional state structure which required no personal attention.

          “Consider : He destroyed all his political opposition,”
          Success tends to do that. Good things there are all those political rivals around to constantly bitch about how he’s ruthlessly destroyed all his political rivals…

          “but at the cost of corrupting Russia’s freedoms, politics, media, and judiciary.”
          Hahahahahahaha!
          Yep, Russia was – and would still be if not for Putin – the pinnacle of media and judicial integrity, with a tradition of personal freedom stretching back centuries!
          Side note: grab fondly remembers swimming in the chocolate rivers of the utopia that was Saddam’s Iraq.

          “He enriched himself and his cronies,”
          Sure.
          Replacing one set of corrupt cronies with another composed of allies is hardly novel.
          Again, statements like
          “but at the cost of hardwiring corruption into the very core of the country’s economy.”
          just reveal your complete lack of insight, integrity, and knowledge.
          At what point in history was corruption not hardwired into the core of the country’s economy.
          All evidence indicates that Russia is no more corrupt, and indeed less so, than it’s ever been.

          “So he’s secure and rich – his associates fat & happy – but getting there made his nation a third-world-level mess.”
          The 90s called; they want their Russia back.

          “What’s left except nationalistic bluster and petty malice?”
          Reality

          1. Some points (re Nardz) :

            (1) I support the open society and oppose its enemies. Not sure what that has to do with Soros. But then I’m also not sure why the Putin-esque ruler of Hungry has made Soros his nation’s number-one Enemy (aside from the whole Jew-baiting thing, that is).

            (2) Yep, Putin has had “success” destroying his enemies. Political show trials, state-run censorship of almost all media, and nerve-gas assassinations can do that for you. Not a good look tho.

            (3) Sure, there was no shortage of Russian corruption pre-Putin. And I grant the corruption is much better organized today. But that’s because Putin incorporated corruption into the very functioning of the state itself. But that is not an improvement and just makes change all the harder.(unless you like your country run Mafia-style)

            (4) Nardz says : “All evidence indicates that Russia is no more corrupt, and indeed less so, than it’s ever been” But Nardz has no evidence and is obviously delusional

            (5) Nardz : “What’s left except nationalistic bluster and petty malice?” Reality.

            You want reality? Russia is an economic basket-case of a country that would fall to pieces without its monthly oil check. It has no allies except for a handful of the most slimy loathsome tyrants on the world stage today. It has no standing except from crude power, yet that power is mere petty third-world stuff like picking on midget-sized neighbors, or playing school-brat tricks on grownup functional countries. Putin’s troll army and clown-show assassination squads are how a third-rate country tries to feel itself important, but who’s fooled? Russia today is like the neighborhood kid who’s too stupid to compete in school, too vile to have any friends, always getting caught at this petty crime or that, and destined to be a loser all his life. Putin’s entire political career has been making Russia more of a loser, not less so.

            1. You support the open society but don’t know what it has to do with Soros and the foundation he’s used to orchestrate misery around the world…
              You’re a wildly ignorant nazi supporting idiot

        2. So, your Reason’s Russian troll huh?

          1. Sure, whatever you want to believe, dumbass.
            “Libertarians”: “government sucks and lies, media sucks and lies… but they’re 100% trustworthy regarding Putin and Russia!”

    2. Thing is, guys like Putin can’t “retire”. Look at the history of dictators and emperors. In the entire history of Rome, only one emperor retired from office; and he had to live 300 miles from Rome. Other dictators who have been pushed from power have not fared well. Amin, Duvalier, Noriega, etc.

      Putin has to stay in power so he doesn’t get arrested in the middle of the night and suicided in jail. Hell, he couldn’t even trust his main crony, Medvedev, to stay bought.

      1. And if Gibbon is to be believed, your one Roman emperor wasn’t permitted a peaceful death. Though there is the model where dictators have a retirement community in another country such as Saudi Arabia (where Amin ended up). Just imagine the neighborhood association there!

      2. I’m going to refer to my Tokugawa comment. An emperor can retire.
        Ancient Pharaohs also co-ruled with their sons when they became elderly. Even if the old autocrat still actually rules, it gives their successor legitimacy and reduces the chance of the successor being overthrown by having a smooth transition of power.

    3. Every great leader leaves like Nobunaga, Hideyoshi, or Tokugawa.

      Nobunaga died in a blaze of glory. Literally, betrayed by one of his generals, he died while under siege in the middle of a burning temple. He never even held the title of Shogun

      Hideyoshi died in his bed of old age, but his children were unprepared to succeed him. With a toddler on the throne, the Japanese civil war reignited once again.

      Tokugawa took control of the country. Then he retired after three years, passing down the title of Shogun to his grown son and allowing a smooth transition of power.

      Putin seems to be going down the Hideyoshi path.

  6. Putin should just be honest and have the Duma pass the following amendment:

    “All preceding provisions of this Constitution are hereby repealed. Vladimir Putin is hereby declared to be the Tsar of the New Russian Empire and shall possess all governmental authority.”

  7. Once we have a Democratic White House again, the US will finally take the fight to Russia — with military force, if necessary. Putin won’t know what hit him. He won’t even want to stay in office until 2036 after getting his ass kicked for a few years by President Biden.

    #LibertariansForGettingToughWithRussia

  8. Important piece from the New York Times.

    Can Russia Use the Coronavirus to Sow Discord Among Americans?

    Don’t listen to conservatives who use racist terms like “Wuhan virus” in a pathetic attempt to paint China as the villain. The real villains here are Putin and Drumpf.

  9. The Russian constitution is written not to give power to the people but to give power to the people who already have it, prominent libertarian activist Mikhail Svetov wrote on Twitter.

    Democratic socialism!

    1. + 1 , This guy get’s it.

    2. Sounds like Mikhail Svetov is going to show what happens to people who dare to criticize the government in the new democratic Russia.

      1. Continue conning western global socialists out of money while being largely ignored by Russians?

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