Published: Mon, January 20, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Russia's Putin sends his constitutional proposals to Parliament

Russia's Putin sends his constitutional proposals to Parliament

Vladimir Putin is due to step down in 2024 after his fourth Kremlin term ends.

Medvedev, Putin's long-time lackey, resigned so as to give Putin near-unilateral authority to change the constitution, and Putin's changes effectively swing power away from the presidency to the parliament and more specifically the prime minister.

In order to allow the proposed constitutional amendments to pass smoothly, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Putin's long-time political ally, and the entire Russian cabinet, stepped down the same day.

If Putin's attempt to make himself the ruler for life succeeds, we can assume that his hostile foreign policy line towards the West, particularly the United States, which has been in force for the past 20 years, is not only likely to continue, but may become even more aggressive in the days ahead.

The Kremlin bill also modifies the constitution to limit a president to two terms altogether, unlike the current version containing a limit of two consecutive terms.

The move triggered the resignation of his government.

Ottawa to avoid selling Trans Mountain pipeline so long as risks remain
Court of Appeal ruled in May 2019 that it could not, noting that would overstep the constitutional authority given to Ottawa. A separate Federal Court of Appeals case on the project, which considers Indigenous issues, is still pending.

Mr Putin's amendments include a proposal to give the constitution a clear priority over worldwide law, a tweak seen as a reflection of the Kremlin's irritation over the European Court of Human Rights' rulings that held Russian Federation responsible for human rights violations.

In the leaders' first face-to-face meeting, Mr Johnson told the Russian President that there would be "no normalisation" of relations between their countries.

Meanwhile, Mikhail Mishustin, former head of the country's Federal Tax Service, has been named the new prime minister.

Putin's plan has divided the anti-Kremlin opposition, however, with some calling it "an anti-constitutional coup" and others, like prominent opposition politician Alexei Navalny, dismissing it as unimportant in the scheme of things and therefore not worth protesting over.

Parallel to politicians, a working group created by Mr Putin will also consider the proposed changes before they are put to the vote.

Opposition activist Ilya Yashin called for a massive protest in Moscow on February 29 to protest against the "usurpation" of power.

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