“A situation where half of the residents are against Putin to remain Russian president might turn his election into a real civil war,” says Abbas Gallyamov, the Russian political scientist. “Opponents of his re-election for a new term are much more active than his supporters.”
In general, many experts have already noted that against the background of the spread of the novel coronavirus and the global pandemic, the topic of a dangerous virus and the measures taken in this regard have come to the forefront of national discussion.
Meanwhile, political life in the country is not just humming along – apparently, it is close to the boiling point. Moreover, the “problem of 2024” associated with the termination of Vladimir Putin's term of office has not yet been fully resolved. After all, even the national vote for constitutional amendments had to be postponed by the authorities because of the quarantine.
Under the above-mentioned circumstances, the Russian elites’ inner struggle for power – or at least for the opportunity to remain close to it – is intnesifying. Thus, recently, experts noted that Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin may turn out to be one of those candidates who are literally angling for a successor to the incumbent President. Today, some experts believed that in the immediate future, the race of Putin's successors will not just start but will get a new boost. As a result, it is expected to be uncompromising.
Struggle of Successors and Risk of Civil war
In addition, the situation for the federal center is aggravated by the publication of a recent survey of the Levada Center on what Russian residents think about the so-called “resetting to zero” of Putin's presidential terms. Experienced political analysts are confident that the public sentiments of this kind may indicate that the question of a successor to the incumbent president is getting acute again. Abbas Gallyamov, Russian political scientist, shared this opinion in his column on the website of Echo of Moscow, a 24/7 commercial Russian radio station.
“A situation where half of the citizens are against the prospect of Putin remaining Russian president might turn his election into a real civil war,” says Gallyamov. “Opponents of his re-election for a new term are much more active than his supporters. They are unlikely to stay at home without undertaking any actions. In order to realize this, it is enough to look at the correlation of respondents from different groups who declare their position firmly or in a milder way.” According to him, among those Russians who approved the new amendment to reset presidential terms limits to zero, the overwhelming majority chose the option “rather approve.” Those who “definitely approve” these changes are a minority. According to Gallyamov, the proportion of opponents of this decision looks quite different. The voters who are ‘”definitely not approving” are almost twice as many as those who “rather disapprove” of this amendment to the Constitution.
“In this situation, appointing of a successor and leaving office after the end of the presidential term would be a truly responsible action,” believes Abbas Gallyamov. “Most Russians would definitely appreciate this step. If one has the permission of the Constitutional Court at one’s disposal but refuses to use it, an act of this kind might write the person’s name down in history.”
Apparently, he considers this scenario highly possible. At the same time, he notes that at present, the race of Putin's successors is getting more active.
“After all, they have a good understanding of what I wrote earlier,” said Gallyamov. “None of them rules out the scenario where Vladimir Putin will resort to this move and will not become a re-elected president. This means they need to be ready for it as well. Putin's successors are expected to start the struggle within days to come.”