Russian smoke screen
MOSCOW - Russia's upper house speaker called Friday for constitutional changes that would allow President Vladimir Putin to remain in office beyond 2008 — a proposal that was quickly rejected by the Kremlin.Putin's official position not withstanding, I wouldn't bet against this being some well planned subterfuge. Putin offically denies interest in serving any longer but one of his toadies in parliament ramming through the constitutional changes needed to let Putin stay on however long he wishes. Then Putin graciously accepts the change. Maybe I'm paranoid, or don't understand Russian politics sufficiently. One thing is certain, Putin can't be trusted.
In a speech after his re-election as speaker of the Federation Council, Sergei Mironov said the presidential term should be extended from four to at least five years and that presidents should be permitted to serve more than two consecutive terms.
The March 2008 presidential vote is seen as a key test for Russia's political system, and any change in the law to permit Putin to stay in the job would be seen by the West as a further erosion of democracy.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed Mironov's proposal, saying that Putin opposes any changes in the constitution that would extend his term.
"We proceed from the president's position that it is pointless to change the constitution to extend the presidential term or the number of terms," he told The Associated Press. "This stance of the president remains unchanged."
Captain Ed is also commenting.
Linked to- Blue Star, Right Wing Nation, Third World County,