Russian lawmakers to hold third reading speech on constitutional changes

The Russian State Duma will today read proposals for constitutional amendments proposed by the Putin administration. A national vote on

russia constitutional reforms

Photo: AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko

The Russian State Duma will today read proposals for constitutional amendments proposed by the Putin administration. A national vote on the changes is set to be held next month.

The most notable shifts regard the balance of power between different elements of the Russian government, namely the legislature and the executive. The Duma will now enjoy the privilege of appointing the prime minister and the president’s cabinet, rights previously afforded to the president.

With Putin constitutionally set to step down in 2024, this is likely an attempt to find means by which he can maintain his 20-year grip on Russian leadership. Additionally, by weakening the presidency, he can mitigate the threat posed by his ultimate successor.

Expect Putin to target candidacy in other areas of the Russian government in the coming years. This is not a novel occurrence—Putin previously served as prime minister from 2008 to 2012 after two other consecutive presidential terms. The Duma reforms appear conducive to a repeat of this sort. But do not expect Putin to loosen his hold on the country’s political arena in the foreseeable future—he has publicly backed a proposal that would cause the successful passage of the constitutional amendments to ‘reset’ his tenure, effectively allowing Putin to remain president until 2036.

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