Le Point: “Putin loves to act outside of public opinion”

Le Point: "Путин обожает действовать в обход общественного мнения"

Constitutional reform is Putin’s opportunity to give yourself time to prepare for all scenarios, – said Andrey Kolesnikov, head of the program “Russian domestic politics and political institutions,” Carnegie Moscow Center, in an interview with French newspaper Le Point.

“Contrary to what I sometimes hear, I think it will reach the end of his presidential term. One thing is certain: he will not participate in the next presidential elections,” – said Kolesnikov.

“The purpose of this constitutional reform is to find him a home. In this capacity, acts of the State Council. That’s why he wants to make his body protected by the Constitution. It strongly resembles the script of Kazakhstan. There, Nursultan Nazarbayev, raised to the rank of “Father of the nation”, is the first person in the state. Those who are pulling the strings. Thus, Putin will be the Father of the nation, standing above the President and the Prime Minister”, – said Kolesnikov.

“Of course, Putin denies this idea! But he denies that Russian troops are supporting the troops of the Marshal of the Haftarot in Libya. He is a former KGB officer. The lie is the cornerstone of his character,” he says.

“On paper, the President will remain more powerful and can be fired or even arrested at any moment, who heads the State Council. But if the post is Putin, there is no doubt that he would have all the guarantees and that the highest power circles of his support,” says the source.

“Ultimately, this constitutional reform is not as far-reaching as it is. It is carried out too quickly, which leads to risk shoddy work on the text. Even the Constitution, Boris Yeltsin in 1993 was developed into a more serious conditions and experienced lawyers. At this time, the Commission responsible for the preparation, consists of individuals obeying orders. And a few days after Putin’s announcement in the state Duma already circulated the first version of the amendments”, – says the expert.

“The reform is one achievement. It is impossible for the President to be reelected for more than two mandates in total. This condition can ease the transition to a democratic regime. In other words, the President cannot stay in power for over twelve years. However, one should note that, by imposing the requirement that the candidate must live in Russia for at least 25 years, the Constitution blocks the way for individuals whose names are well known. So, the oppositionist Alexei Navalny, who for some time lived in the United States will not be able to run for President,” – said Kolesnikov.

“The question of a successor to Putin is acting contrary to intuitive expectations. It is sufficient that someone’s name started to emerge in the media as his choice falls on some little-known Governor of a distant region. He hates to work under pressure and loves to act outside of public opinion. “You want this man? Then you will have one.” It is therefore very difficult to predict his decision,” – says the interlocutor of the edition.

“Look at the new Prime Minister Michael mishustina. Absolutely no one could have foreseen such an appointment. This technocrat is still headed tax service and did not appear in any plans. And suddenly he’s a few years became head of the government. And although Putin has updated almost all Ministers, this does not mean that he did this in order to immediately get rid of his Prime Minister. I even think Mishustin will be able to join the list of contenders for the role of successor. This bureaucrat, who showed its effectiveness in the modernization of the Federal tax service. He is familiar with the administrative apparatus. He is able to implement the measures planned by the Kremlin”, – says Andrey Kolesnikov.

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