Putin positions himself to be dictator for life in Russia.
Courtesy of the AP:
Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed a constitutional overhaul Wednesday to boost the powers of parliament and the Cabinet, a move signaling Putin’s intention to carve out a new position for himself after his current term ends.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev submitted his resignation hours after Putin discussed the constitutional amendments during his state of the nation address.
The Russian leader thanked Medvedev for his service but said the prime minister’s Cabinet had failed to fulfill all of its objectives. In televised remarks, Putin said Medvedev would take up a new position as a deputy head of the presidential Security Council.
Medvedev, a longtime close associate of Putin’s, has served as Russia’s prime minister since 2012. He spent four years before that as president in 2008-2012, becoming a placeholder when Putin had to switch into the prime minister’s office because of constitutional term limits on the presidency.
Medvedev obediently stepped down after just one term as president and let Putin reclaim the top job in what was widely seen as cynical political maneuvering and triggered massive protests in Moscow
Putin asked the member’s of Medvedev’s Cabinet to keep working until a new Cabinet is formed.
The article does not make it clear but the entire cabinet is following Medvedev out the door, allowing Putin to handpick their replacements.
This will just help tighten Putin’s grip on Russia and essentially allow him to remain in power for as long as he wants to remain in power.
You may remember that Chinese President Xi Jinping made a similar move in 2018, and that Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also positioned himself to remain in power indefinitely as well.
It might be important to also remember that these are the leaders that Donald Trump most openly admires, along with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, and that he looks to them for inspiration.
I would hope that our system of checks and balances would make it impossible for Trump to execute a similar power grab, but then I also believed that lawmakers would be able to remove a president from power if he was obviously unfit for office.
So, what do I know?