Russia » Politics
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Putin doesn't exclude opportunity to take president's office for the third time

The Russian president is not sure about his political life when the current term in the office ends

Vladimir Putin does not plan to run for the president in 2008. Putin made the surprising statement during his official visit to Germany, at the meeting with managers of both Russian and German media outlets.

Putin particularly stated that he was not going to change the Russian law: the Constitution excludes a possibility for a candidate to be reelected for the position of the president three times in a row. However, the president added, “it is not forbidden to be reelected for the third time, albeit not a row.” “I am not sure if I want it,” RIA Novosti quoted the Russian president as saying.

It is worth mentioning, though, that Vladimir Putin said at the annual press conference in the Kremlin in December of 2004 that he was not going to run for the third presidential term either in 2008 or in 2012 and 2016. “I think about it, of course, how to organize my life after 2008. However, I would not talk about the possibility to nominate my candidacy for the top position of the Russian Federation president in 2012 and 2016,” Putin said back then. “What I think about is how Russia is going to overcome the period of 2008. One will have to do everything possible to organize the election of the Russian president in a duly democratic way,” Putin said.

Deputy chairman of the Yabloko faction, Sergei Mitrokhin, believes that Vladimir Putin is abusing his power. “The leader of a great country is not supposed to look for loopholes in the Constitution with a view to prolong his authorities. In addition, the president should not dwell upon the issue abroad,” Mitrokhin believes.

”Putin's statement contains the conflict of interests of the Russian incumbent president and the would-be presidential candidacy. One may say that Putin is using his position for his political goals of the future. It looks simply unethical, because no other candidate of the 2012 election has a similar opportunity,” Mitrokhin emphasized.

”In addition, the president can put an end to these shameful talks about the eternal reservation of power in his hands. These talks are becoming more and more popular in Putin's team as the year of the next presidential election is drawing near,” the spokesman for the Yabloko faction said.

Mitrokhin pointed out that he was talking about the opportunity for Vladimir Putin to be reelection for the third period, as well as about a reform of the political system, which would allow Putin to preserve his authority with the help of just a slight change in the name of his position. “All those variants imply the virtual destruction of the Russian Constitution, which prevents the creation of dictatorship,” the politician added.

The head of the presidential administration, Dmitry Medvedev, stated last week that Russia may vanish from the political map of the world, unless the Russian political elite failed to consolidate itself around Vladimir Putin. “The break up of the Soviet Union will look like a party in the kindergarten,” Medvedev said in an interview with Expert magazine.

Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov said in his comments about the election of the Russian president in 2008: “I do not see anyone else but Putin. There is no other person, who could continue governing the country,” said he.

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