Political analyst Oleg Bondarenko believes that Vladimir Putin may leave his post before 2024 when nobody expects it. In his opinion, the amendments are needed to calm down the country's political elite while searching quietly for a successor.
In the Address to the Federal Assembly in January 2020, the Russian President for the first time expressed his intention to make amendments to the country's Constitution. Immediately after that, a workgroup was set up to scrutinize this issue. Its main task is to make the Constitution of the country more relevant to modern realities.
It caused a great discussion among the Russian politicians and the expert community, as well as among ordinary residents. Initially, many amendments looked quite efficacious until Valentina Matviyenko proposed to reset the presidential term to zero due to the amendments to the Constitution. Experts immediately began talking that this amendment is what everything was intended for, and that all other amendments are nothing more than a smoke screen.
The newly appointed date of national voting is getting closer. The first attempt was not successful due to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Russia. However, the idea that the amendment about resetting Putin’s term to zero is the most important is strongly associated with the planned event.
The expert community also shares this opinion. However, there is another viewpoint. For instance, political scientist Oleg Bondarenko said in an interview with the Politnavigator newsportal that Vladimir Putin may leave his post before 2024 when nobody expects it. In his opinion, the amendments are needed to calm the country's political elite and meanwhile to search quietly for a successor.
“It is no secret that the amendment to reset presidential terms to zero is the most talked about,” said Bondarenko. “It is obvious that at first glance, all this looks like an attempt to reset Putin’s presidential term to zero. In my opinion, that's not true. Or, not exactly like this. Firstly, I believe that Vladimir Putin might leave the post of the Russian President before 2024, and this might be done unexpectedly for everyone.
“This is exactly why he needs the “reset” amendment. He should not be perceived as a “lame duck” among the political elite. As soon as the elite began to understand that the process of searching for a successor had begun, it immediately led to the confrontations among the political elites. If the “reset” amendment is adopted, Putin’s positions will be stronger, as he will be able to deal with the agenda at his own discretion.
“To be fair, it is worth noting that probably, there will be people from the President's inner circle who might actively persuade him to run for the fifth term. Again, I believe that the main purpose of the amendment is quite different, and Putin may leave before 2024.”