Anybody surprised with this?
Russia is NOT a Democracy…
How will Donald Trump deal with this?
Republicans in the American Congress?
He and Mr. Medvedev have choreographed moves in the past that allowed Mr. Putin to remain in charge; in 2008, when Mr. Putin faced term limits, Mr. Medvedev was elected president. Mr. Putin became prime minister, though he remained the real power in the government, and he returned to the presidency in 2012, when Mr. Medvedev became prime minister.
Mr. Putin described the proposed constitutional changes in his annual state of the nation address on Wednesday as an effort to enhance democracy. They would be the first major overhaul of Russia’s political system since 1993, when the country’s first democratically elected president, Boris N. Yeltsin, sent tanks into the center of Moscow to subdue a rebellious legislature and then ordered a referendum to endorse a new constitution.
Mr. Putin, on a roll abroad but becalmed at home by Russia’s stagnant economy, has a long record of wrong-footing friends and foes, and he has ensured that he has remained the arbiter on all important decisions in Russia since Mr. Yeltsin resigned on Dec 31, 1999.
The Constitution limits a president to two consecutive terms, meaning that without a change, Mr. Putin would have to leave that office in 2024, though he has dropped hints about keeping his grip on power beyond that date. Russia has been abuzz for months with speculation about whether he would come up with a maneuver to extend his rule — or, if not, who might succeed him.
Already in power for 20 years, longer than any Kremlin leader since Stalin, Mr. Putin shed no light on Wednesday on his own exact plans, but instead opened a Pandora’s box of possible options. The resulting uncertainty puts the political elite off balance, helping to ensure that Mr. Putin avoids becoming a lame duck and remains the pivot around which the country revolves.
Opposition politicians seized on his proposals as evidence that he planned to stay in power indefinitely….
Pool photo by Shamil Zhumatov