Is Putin planning on becoming a ‘supreme leader’? It’s clear as ...

World

Is Putin planning on becoming a ‘supreme leader’? It’s clear as mud

ANALYSIS | The enigma of what happens after the Russian leader steps down is now as deep as ever

Roland Oliphant

The dramatic resignation of the Russian government and Vladimir Putin’s announcement of sweeping changes to the Russian constitution bring both clarity and fog to the greatest riddle of Russian politics.

First, the clarity: it now seems more likely than ever that Putin will step down when his current term as president ends in 2024, as the Russian constitution requires, but still intends to cling on to power. Why else would he propose weakening the power of the presidency unless he wants to deny his successor the sweeping authority he currently enjoys?

But exactly how the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches of government will change, and where Putin himself will end up in that arrangement, remain as clear as mud...

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