Several Russian newspapers and news agencies believed, though, that the Constitution will be changed to let Putin stay in the office for the third time
Finnish reporters asked Russian President Putin during his official visit to Finland about his views of his own future after 2008, when Russia holds the presidential election. It is an open secret that Putin would like to stay in the office of the president for the third term, although the Constitution of the Russian Federation does not imply such an opportunity. “Maybe I would like to remain on the presidential post after 2008, but the Constitution does not allow to do it,” Putin said. “I believe that stability is the most important factor for present-day Russia, which can be achieved on the base of constitutional regulations only,” the president added.
Vladimir Putin's answer seems to be simple and clear. The Constitution does not allow him to be re-elected for the third time, stability is the most important factor of all, and the Constitution should be observed for the sake of stability. It seems that there is nothing special to comment. Several media outlets, however, managed to stir up a sensation out of only one single statement, which the president released.
Several Russian newspapers and news agencies presented their own rendition of Putin's future and said that Putin wants to stay in the office for the third term after 2008. “We have enough time before 2008, and I am sure that we will have to do a lot during this period,” the president said at the press conference in Finland. Russian reporters probably concluded that there would be certain amendments made to the Russian Constitution to let the incumbent president be reelected for the third time in a row. “When the Constitution is changed, we will most likely hear Putin saying: “Yes, I am running, because the Constitution allows me to do so,” Grani.ru website wrote.
To crown it all, even if the parliament makes certain amendments to the Constitution (the process is very complicated, albeit possible), and gives the Russian president an opportunity to stay in the office for more than two terms in a row, Vladimir Putin will not have a right to use those changes in his career. Such a chance will be given to Putin's successor only.
Vladimir Putin clearly stated at the above-mentioned press conference that the presidential election in 2008 would take place on time and within the framework of the usual electoral practice. One may say that Putin asked everyone to stop dwelling upon the subject of his third presidential term. Putin repeatedly protested against a possible change of the Russian Constitution during the five years of his stay in the office.