NEW YORK CITY – The U.S based Bloomberg news outlet has reported an unconfirmed leak that the Kremlin plans to change the electoral legislation in Russia by 2021 so that Vladimir Putin after the elections of 2024 can remain in power as prime minister, and could control the State Duma also as the leader of United Russia.
If true, it is assumed that the powers of Prime Minister Putin will be “expanded to the detriment of presidential”, but this requires the consent of the parliament, in which, under such a scenario, the majority of United Russia must be maintained after the elections two years later. However, sources of the publication point out that difficulties may arise as the ratings of the party and its members fall.
In order to maintain control, they plan to change the legislation – the share of deputies on party lists will be reduced from 50% to 25% (112 people), the remaining 75% will be elected by district – as nominally independent. As a result, Putin will be able to gain control of the State Duma several years before the expiration of his presidential powers.
Two sources close to the Kremlin and a high-ranking member of United Russia confirmed to Bloomberg that potentially such a scenario would allow Mr Putin to remain in power after 2024.
FRN has not authenticated the veracity of these claims, and Bloomberg in the past has been known to spread false leaks, or misreport on events.
Raising further doubts, in a conversation with URA.RU, the chairman of the supervisory board of the consulting company Baxter Group, political consultant Dmitry Gusev, expressed doubt that the scenario described in the Bloomberg material is feasible. According to him, with the majority of the State Duma, United Russia had more than once the opportunity to change electoral legislation, but this did not happen.
“Most likely, we are talking only about some estimates, discussions without final decisions,” political analyst Nikolai Mironov commented on the idea of parliamentary reform.
He believes that every scenario of constitutional reform carries risks, including in terms of the stability of the political system and the weakening of the institution of the presidency.