Georgy Satarov, who was one of the authors on Russia’s current constitution, said Russians had the right to feel “cheated” after Putin’s ploy emerged. In Russia, lawmakers backed controversial amendments to a document, which would allow the 67-year-old to remain in power for another 16 years. In a sensational move, Putin won the backing of 383 members of the Kremlin-controlled lower house, the State Duma, to change the legislation that currently means the Russian President must stand down by 2024.
Although the legislation is still pending review, it is expected to pass through Russia’s Constitutional Court before a referendum is held on the topic on April 22.
The new law would make it possible for Putin to stand for the presidency a further two times, Newsweek reports.
But Mr Satarov said there was one aspect of the scheme Putin didn’t plan for – and that is protests from the public.
Speaking to anti-Putin publication Current Time News, Mr Satarov explained some Russian citizens were enraged in 2012 when Putin became President again, taking over from Dmitry Medvedev.
That move came despite previous laws forbidding anyone from being leader for longer than two terms.
He said: “Suddenly they found out that they were being cheated in the elections, and this angered them.
“Their voices were stolen and they went out on the streets to demand their say in numbers that no one expected.
“And the same thing will happen.
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“In principle, what they have done today, they have reproduced that situation, when society has the right to consider itself cheated…cheated and insulted.“
Fears have emerged in Moscow that Russia could move back to a time when leaders relinquished power only when they died.
Fellow Putin critic Leonid Volkov, chief strategist of opposition leader Alexey Navalny, took to Facebook to deliver his unsurprised verdict.
He said: “The fact that Putin was never going to leave—we’ve always known.
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“That he didn’t make any clever moves, and instead stupidly just took another term—now that’s a bit of a surprise.”
Putin has been Russia’s President on two separate occasions.
He was initially in charge between 2000 and 2008, before moving over to become the country’s Prime Minister.
But four years later he returned to the role.
According to the Financial Times, Putin spoke to members in Duma, claiming the move to make the constitution changes would go to a “people’s vote”.
He said: “I am sure there will come a time when the higher presidential authority in Russia will not be, as they say, so personified, so linked with one person.
“I am completely convinced that a strong presidential vertical is necessary for our country.
“The current situation in the economy and in the security sphere yet again reminds us that we need this for stability.”
At present, legislation in Russia only allows presidents to serve two consecutive terms.
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