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Putin Dismisses Talk about Extending His Rule

Putin Dismisses Talk about Extending His Rule

Friday, 06 March 2020 10:38 AM

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that he doesn't want to scrap term limits or resort to other suggested ways of extending his rule, but he kept mum about his future plans.

Putin has proposed a sweeping set of constitutional amendments, which are seen by his critics as part of his efforts to stay at the helm after his current six-year term expires in 2024. The Kremlin-controlled parliament is expected to approve the changes next week, after which they will come for final approval in a nationwide vote set for April 22.

Political pundits and Kremlin foes have speculated that Putin could use the changes to scrap term limits and remain president; shift into the prime minister's seat with strengthened powers; or continue calling the shots as the head of the State Council.

But Putin rejected all those options during a meeting with workers and activists in Ivanovo, northeast of Moscow. Asked if he really wants to step down after completing his term because he's tired of his post, Putin responded coyly that he likes his job and is thankful to the people who support him.

He noted, however, that he considers scrapping presidential terms harmful for the country's future even though it could benefit from political stability at present.

Putin added that transforming Russia into a parliamentary republic isn't a good idea because the country needs a strong presidential authority.

He also dismissed suggestions that he could shift into the post of the head of the State Council after his term ends, saying such a move would divide the government and would be disastrous for the country.

The 67-year-old Putin, who has been in power for more than 20 years, becoming Russia's longest-serving ruler since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, didn't offer any clue about his political future.

© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


   
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Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that he doesn't want to scrap term limits or resort to other suggested ways of extending his rule, but he kept mum about his future plans.Putin has proposed a sweeping set of constitutional amendments, which are seen by his...
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2020-38-06
Friday, 06 March 2020 10:38 AM
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