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Russian Regional Head Proposes 21-Year Reign for Putin

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.mosnews.com/news/2005/08/22/markelov.shtml Russian Regional Head Proposes 21-Year Reign for Putin Created: 22.08.2005 MosNews The head of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 22, 2005
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      http://www.mosnews.com/news/2005/08/22/markelov.shtml

      Russian Regional Head Proposes 21-Year Reign for Putin

      Created: 22.08.2005

      MosNews

      The head of the Russian internal republic of Mari El,
      Leonid Markelov, has called for a legislative
      extension of the presidential term in Russia.

      “The head of state in this country should be able to
      be elected not twice in a row but three times, and an
      individual presidential term should not be limited to
      four years but to at least five and a maximum of seven
      years,” Interfax news agency quoted Markelov as
      saying.

      The president of Mari El proposed a change to the
      Russian constitution. “Of course, the Russian
      president has clearly defined his position on the
      constitution, but there is such a thing as a situation
      when you have to overcome your own reservations for
      people’s sake. I can see absolutely no breach of
      democratic rules if State Duma deputies initiate the
      tabling of the relevant amendments to the country’s
      constitution,” he said.

      Russia now “has a very serious chance to complete a
      breakthrough in the economy, because a period of
      political stability has been ushered in. The majority
      of business and society have faith in the existing
      authorities,” Markelov added. In order to preserve
      stability and growth in the economy as the main
      elements for increasing the people’s prosperity, “a
      continuity of power is important,” he said.

      “I can see no alternative to incumbent president
      Vladimir Putin, who is popular among the people. I
      support the tabling of the relevant amendments to the
      country’s basic law. These amendments will be
      interpreted in society as right and proper,” Markelov
      said.

      Last week the governor of Novgorod region said Putin
      does not need a third term but the term in office
      itself should be extended from four to seven years.

      Lawmakers in different Russian regions have tabled
      initiatives to allow Putin to run for the third term.
      For instance, a lawmaker in the St. Petersburg
      Legislative Assembly made a project of a bill on an
      amendment to the constitution reading that “one and
      the same person cannot hold the post of the Russian
      president for more than three consecutive terms.”
      Currently, it is impossible for a person to be
      president for more than two terms in a row.

      Also, a group of deputies from the local legislature
      in the Russian Far East region of Primorye drafted
      amendments to the Constitution that would enable Putin
      to run for a third term. They said that the effective
      constitution contained contradictions and should be
      amended.
      In accordance with Article 32 of the Constitution,
      citizens of the Russian Federation have the right to
      vote and run for government posts if they are legally
      capable and are not serving a prison sentence passed
      by a court of law. However, Article 81, paragraph 3,
      says that one and the same person cannot hold the post
      of the Russian president for more than two consecutive
      terms. In other words, one article does not impose any
      limitations while another one does, one of the
      deputies said.

      Putin has recently said that he “maybe would like to
      (run for president in 2008)” but that the Constitution
      did not permit this.

      Putin’s second term expires in March 2008.
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