The President of Russia has appointed a new date for a national referendum on amendments to the Russian Constitution: the amendments will help him another 16 years to remain head of state.
The seriousness of the situation with coronavirus in Russia, albeit slowly, but becomes less acute. In the Kremlin, finally, found it possible to return to the question of the probable date of the referendum on constitutional amendments, by which the current leader of Russia will be able to retain the presidency in the near future.
Vladimir Putin during several workshops with the participation of legislators and highest officials of the country agreed with the proposal to submit the question of retaining a President in a national review of July 1, this year.
Addressing those present at the meeting, the politician, have long been occupying the post of the head of state said that he considered it possible to approve a new date for a national referendum on amendments to the Constitution, originally appointed in April. However, the President has made a reservation is to hold a referendum will be subject to the condition, “if you do not intervene any unexpected circumstances.”
It is clear that under the “unexpected circumstances” means a new aggravation of the situation with the spread in the country coronavirus infection — it hurt to hold a referendum initially scheduled on April 22 this year. Consideration of a new date for the referendum was then delayed indefinitely, until the moment when to carry it out “will allow the situation in the country”.
The situation in the country at the moment, which until recently had remained uncertain, as the epidemic began to stabilize somewhat, and the Russian government expressed confidence that stabilization will continue in the near future that will allow for a previously scheduled referendum. Amendments to the Constitution to allow the incumbent President to remain head of state for much longer than stipulated by the current Constitution of the country. The truth, of course, if these amendments were to be “publicly approved”. But that amendment is really to be popularly approved, at least those Russians who dare to take part in the vote, the Russian government, it seems, too, has no doubts.
Anna Popova, head of Rospotrebnadzor, an organization which has acquired much greater political weight in Russia at the height of the pandemic COVID-19, assured the President that the country will within the next month to prepare for the referendum. According to her, the epidemic in the country is really declining, the increase in the number of cases has been steadily decreasing, on average, 2% per day, and it suggests that the epidemic in the country actually came the “tipping point”.
By calculations of experts, until 1 July, i.e. before the new scheduled date of the popular vote, just have to go through another two incubation period of the infection, which comprise exactly two weeks. They must finally confirm that the fracture has indeed been made. In this case, the reduction of the spread COVID-19 actually will persist or even continue to decline, with more rosy forecasts. On this basis it was decided that a new date for a national referendum on 1 July, is a suitable option.
According to the Constitution, the Russian President may be re-elected to his post only once, i.e., to hold office for not more than two terms. But with the approval of the new amendments, the incumbent President can extend this period for similar periods, or, in the now popular expression in the country, “reset” your two terms, which should be completed by 2024. And thus to remain in power until 2036.
Of course, among the proposed amendments to the Main law of the country there are others, in addition to the “zeroing” of the terms of office of the incumbent. But it is clear that this issue will be key in the upcoming referendum. According to several undertaken studies of public opinion, the majority of Russians intend to support the new draft Constitution, and, therefore, the prospect of saving up to Vladimir Putin the highest authority in the country to 2036 looks quite real. Real, however, under two conditions. The first is that it again needs to be re-elected after the expiration of the first term and the second is that an unexpected change in the situation with coronavirus will not make changes in the plans to hold a referendum according to the newly approved date. But if for the fulfillment of the first condition can guarantee the current political situation in the country allows us to speak about it without a doubt, something about the second condition cannot be so firmly sure. Since no one can give guarantees that the coronavirus have not provided another scenario for the short political history of Russia.