MOSCOW (dpa-AFX) – In a further step to secure power, the 68-year-old Russian President Vladimir Putin now wants to lift the upper limit of 70 years in civil service. On Friday he introduced a law in the State Duma under which the most important officials appointed by the President can work indefinitely. Many companions, whom the ex-KGB officer already knew from his time in St. Petersburg and who now hold high offices, are now approaching the critical age limit.
The new law is now intended to simplify the procedure for remaining in the power base. According to the draft law published on Friday, Putin justified his initiative with the wealth of experience of state officials. Previously, the law provided for a stay of up to 65 years, and civil service could then be extended by five years. Now the age limit is no longer applicable.
Approval in the State Duma, which is controlled by the Kremlin and has many senior MPs, is considered a formality. There is no age limit for Putin as elected president. Thanks to the law, however, he keeps his most loyal employees by his side.
Last year, in a constitutional amendment initiated by the President, the counting of his previous terms of office was canceled. He has been in power for more than 20 years – and, should he run and be re-elected in the 2024 and 2030 presidential elections, he can rule until 2036. That year Putin would be 84 years old. He also recently signed a law that guaranteed him impunity for the rest of his life.
For a long time now, critics have complained about the increasing rigidity of the political system in Russia and the lack of prospects for a rejuvenation or a change of power. Kremlin opponents also complain about growing pressure on those who think differently./mau/DP/nas