By: Nadeemy Haded
Russian President Vladimir Putin has rejected the idea of the leader remaining in power for life, despite his recent wide-ranging political adjustments.
In remarks to Soviet veterans in St. Petersburg on Saturday, while celebrating the 77th anniversary of the lifting of the siege of Leningrad during World War II, Vladimir Putin said that he did not want his country to return to the practices of the late Soviet era when rulers continued to rule for life Without an appropriate succession strategy.
The Russian president's words came days after Putin, 67, revealed a major change in the political system, which led to the resignation of the government of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and the appointment of Mikhail Michaelostin as his successor.
Putin's amendments to the political system, which include amending the constitution to establish new centers of influence outside the presidency, are seen as aiming to give him an opportunity to continue to tighten his grip on power when his term ends in 2024.
Critics in Russia accuse President Putin of planning to remain in power in one way or another after his term ends, according to Reuters.
Putin, a former officer in the KGB intelligence service, has dominated political life in Russia for nearly 20 years, whether as president of Russia or as prime minister.
Responding to a question from one of the veterans, if it was time to remove restrictions on presidential terms, he said: "With regard to presidential terms to stay in power, I understand that concern is linked to the fact that many people are concerned about internal and external stability."
"But it would be very disturbing to return to the situation we were in in the mid-eighties, when state leaders were in power until the end of their days and left it without ensuring that the necessary conditions for the transfer of power were met."
He concluded by saying, "I think it would be better not to return to this situation."