How Putin tampered with (once again) the Constitution to stay in power


It is customary of the fact. Twice, Vladimir Putin amended the Constitution in order to serve his interests and stay in power. The constitutional referendum, voted in 2020 and signed on March 26, allows him to ignore the limitation on the plurality of mandates.

“The Obs” takes stock of the two constitutional revisions that allowed Vladimir Putin to stay in power.

  • 2008. Extension of the presidential term

It was in 2008 that the Constitution of the Russian Federation was amended for the first time. The revision establishes that from the presidential elections of 2012, the term of office is extended from 4 to 6 years. In 2008, Vladimir Putin took the post of Prime Minister and left the Kremlin to his last head of government Dmitry Medvedev. After this four-year interlude, he was re-elected president in 2012.

The Dmitriev or Vladimir Putin affair in the face of Stalin’s crimes

This constitutional revision also increases the term of office of the State Duma (the lower house of the Federal Assembly) to 5 years, instead of 4. At the same time, an amendment requires the government to report on its activities. in front of the Duma at least once a year.

  • 2021. Putin in power until 2036?

Russian deputies adopted the law on Wednesday March 24 and Vladimir Putin signed it on Monday April 5. It gives him the right to run for two new presidential terms, paving the way for the president to remain in the Kremlin until 2036. He would then be 84 years old.

Putin should in theory have stepped down at the end of his current term in 2024. But, according to the new law, “This restriction does not apply to those who held the post of Head of State before the entry into force of the amendments to the Constitution” approved by referendum in 2020. Vladimir Putin and former President Dmitry Medvedev can therefore stand for re-election twice.

“The more the West tempers, the more Vladimir Putin advances”

In addition to resetting the counter of the terms of office carried out by Vladimir Putin, the amendments also provide for lifetime immunity for outgoing presidents as well as the primacy of the Russian Constitution over international law.

The opponent Alexeï Navalny described this consultation as“Huge lie” and the NGO Golos, specializing in election observation, denounced an infringement ” unprecedented “ to the sovereignty of the Russian people.

“Vladimir Putin played on the terms of the Constitution”, explains Françoise Daucé, director of studies at EHESS and member of CERCEC, to the “Obs”.

“He broke the idea, which was to limit the presidential exercise to two terms. By adding the term “consecutive” in 1993, the possibility of circumventing the spirit of the Constitution was made possible. “



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