UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s surprise proposal for constitutional changes Wednesday, experts suggest Putin has further ambitions for governing Russia even after his 2024 term ends.
During his annual address to the Federal Assembly, consisting of the country’s two legislative chambers, Putin pledged constitutional changes by placing it in a general vote.
The government resigned after Putin proposed the changes and said he needed “work organization”.
The Russian president accepted the resignations and urged Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to assume a new role as deputy to the country’s Security Council.
In response to Putin’s call, Medvedev said it would be fair for the government to resign “to enable the president to make all necessary decisions”.
The new system gives parliament, the Russian Duma, the right to elect the prime minister and cabinet, while the prime minister is currently appointed by the president.
“Medvedev serving as prime minister and Putin serving as president have some constitutional limitations,” Professor Oktay Tanrısever of the Middle East Department of International Relations at the Technical University told Anadolu Agency (AA).
“But once he creates a new system, a system with a new timeline, he can continue to lead Russia by accommodating different interests in a different institutional environment without really damaging his leadership in the country,” he said. .
According to Tanrısever, Putin’s main goal is to maintain power alliances for a longer time with this proposed change.
Mesut Hakkı Caşın, a law professor at Yeditepe University, also suggested that Putin wants to continue his political legacy under a new constitution.
“The proposed change suggested increasing the role and power of the prime minister. So, I think, Putin will continue as prime minister while Medvedev assumes the post of president after 2024, “said Caşın.
Caşın said Russian opinion would approve the changes in a referendum because they want to continue with Putin in the future.
“Tensions with the West created a new Russian nationalism. I see the tendency towards Putin is high especially among the young,” he added.
“Similar to the Soviet system”
Although Tanrısever and Caşın see the move as Putin’s desire to continue his political influence in Russia, they view the prime minister’s position differently.
Tanrısever said the prime minister in the new system would have a technical rather than political role.
“So the Council of Ministers will deal with technical issues. The key decisions will be decided by the Security Council and the president,” Tanrısever said.
“I think the whole institutional system looks like the Soviet system. In the Soviet system, the prime minister’s position was not political. It was economic. system, “he added.
“The president will create this Security Council as the main political bureau and thus, it will have a similar infrastructure as the Soviet system. No one will think that the prime minister has any executive political role,” Tanrısever stressed.
However, Tanrısever said Putin is not reviving the Soviet Union, but will bring about a system that once operated in Russia.
“It’s more about the depoliticization of the Russian state. So the Council of Ministers will deal with technical issues, the key decisions will be decided by the Security Council. ”
Criticism from the west
“I think his (Putin’s) goal is to create a framework that will enable Russia to integrate countries like Belarus and maybe some other possible countries in this system,” Tanrısever said, adding that although the West perhaps criticizing Putin’s moves considering it “not good for promoting democracy in Russia”, the real criticism will come when Russia “decides to expand this institutional framework to neighboring countries”.
“This is the real danger. I think the countries should look at Russia’s efforts to reintegrate some of these post-Soviet countries into their system,” he said.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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