- Title: Putin says he's open to tweaking presidential term limits
- Date: 19th December 2019
- Summary: MOSCOW, RUSSIA (DECEMBER 19, 2019) (RUSSIAN POOL) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN AT ANNUAL NEWS CONFERENCE / JOURNALISTS RAISING PLACARDS WITH NAMES OF MEDIA THEY REPRESENT (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT, VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "It is a living tool, it should correspond to the society development level. But still, in my opinion, we should not adopt a new constitution." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT, VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "(STARTS OVER SHOT OF JOURNALIST) There are some fundamental things enshrined (in the constitution), which we still have to fully implement. (CONTINUES OVER WIDE SHOT) This relates to the first chapter. The first chapter is untouchable, in my opinion. All the rest can be changed one way or another. (BACK TO PUTIN) I am aware, of course, of discussions which are taking place regarding this issue, I see them, I hear them." PUTIN TALKING TO MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT, VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "One thing that could be changed about these terms is removing the clause about "successive" (terms). We have two successive terms. Your humble servant has served two terms consecutively, then left his post and had the constitutional right to return to the post of president, because these were not two successive terms. (This clause) troubles some of our political analysts and public figures. Well, maybe it could be removed." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS
- Embargoed: 2nd January 2020 10:56
- Keywords: Putin Putin's annual news conference Russia Vladimir Putin constitution amendment president
- Location: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- City: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- Country: Russia
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001BAN69FR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday (December 19) he was open to the possibility of altering Russia's constitution, including proposals to increase parliament's power and to limit the number of presidential terms anyone can serve.
The issue of constitutional change in Russia is watched closely amid speculation about Putin's own political ambitions.
In power as either president or prime minister since 1999, Putin, 67, is due to step down in 2024 when his fourth presidential term ends. Under the current constitution, which bans anyone from serving more than two successive presidential terms, Putin is barred from immediately running again.
Critics have accused him of plotting to wield power beyond 2024 however, suggesting he might change the constitution to run again as president, shift power to parliament and assume an enhanced role as prime minister, or head a new union state comprised of Russia and neighbouring Belarus.
Putin on Thursday said he was open to the idea of making constitutional changes when it came to parliamentary powers and the institutions of the presidency and prime minister, but said Russia should tread carefully.
He said he was open to tweaking presidential term limits, suggesting they could be changed to limit anyone's ability to serve more than two terms, something he has done.
"One thing that could be changed about these (presidential) terms is removing the clause about 'successive' (terms). Your humble servant served two terms consecutively, then left his post and had the constitutional right to return to the post of president, because these were not two successive terms," he said.
"(This clause) troubles some of our political analysts and public figures. Well, maybe it could be removed."
(Production: Maria Vasilyeva, Tatyana Gomozova)
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