Moscow: Russian experts suggest that the Russian government is preparing changes to the Basic Law to ensure a legitimate future for its "main Russian citizen."
Despite the fact that Vladimir Putin, after the May presidential elections, asked if he intends to change the text of the constitution in the future, he said that he is not planning any reforms, it is quite possible that he will soon agree to such changes.
However, the Kremlin master is no stranger to changing the rhetoric to the diametrically opposite. Suffice it to recall his quote from 10 years ago.
In the fall of 2008 (immediately after the Russian aggression against sovereign Georgia), he clearly stated that the Crimea territorially belonged to Ukraine, but in the spring of 2014, after the annexation of the peninsula, he began to justify Russian expansion by saying that the Crimea was supposedly from "originally Russian territory ".
The fact that changes to the Russian Constitution (to ensure the future of Vladimir Putin, after the end of the current fourth presidential cadence in 2024) is quite possible, - analysts said a long time ago, but the first real signs that constitutional transformations for a particular person were already being prepared today's software article of the chairman of the Constitutional Court of Russia Valery Zorkin in the Rossiyskaya Gazeta - “The Letter and the Spirit of the Constitution”, filed with a breakdown of fragments in the format of a journalistic interview.
The current Constitution of Russia, as is known, was adopted on December 12, 1993, two months after the Moscow White House was shot by tanks, where the Russian parliament then sat and is now in session with the Russian government.
They accepted it after a referendum held in the summer of the same year with four questions, the contents of which no one remembers, but many people remembered the media campaign of that time from Yeltsin's associates, suggesting to their supporters to answer on the ballot in the following way: ! ”
Briefly recall the chronicle of the confrontation between the branches of the Russian government a quarter of a century ago.
At the end of September 1993, Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed Decree No. 1400 “On Phased Constitutional Reform in the Russian Federation”, ordering to terminate the activities of the Congress of People’s Deputies and the Supreme Council and to appoint elections to the newly created representative body, the Federal Assembly Russian Federation.
The Constitutional Court, which met on the night of September 21-22, found in the decree a violation of several articles of the Constitution in force at that time, and established that there are grounds for dismissing the president from office.
On October 3, Yeltsin introduced a special position in Moscow, and the next day after the shelling of the parliament with tanks, his advocates, who opposed the usurpation of power by the president, were forced to capitulate.
Paradoxically, however, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, which found 25 years ago the grounds for the removal of President Yeltsin from power, as now, was headed by the same Valery Zorkin.
After the October events with the wording “for political activity”, he was removed from the presidency, and then from judging by the Constitutional Court, but a year later the status of a judge was returned to him, and at the first presidential cadence of Putin - on March 21, 2003, he was again elected chairman of the Constitutional Court . In 2004, he supported the decision of Russian President Vladimir Putin on the abolition of direct elections of heads of subjects of the Russian Federation.
Once again, Valery Zorkin was re-elected to the post of President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation in January of this year.
In his recent interview, Zorkin, as they say, immediately took the bull by the horns, saying that there are flaws in the Russian Constitution and they should be eliminated with pinpoint changes.
Among these flaws, Zorkin called the lack of clarity in the distribution of powers between the president and the government, in determining the status of the presidential administration and the powers of the prosecutor's office.
In his opinion, there are flaws in the division of competencies and powers between the federation and its subjects and in the definition of local self-government in the system of authority.
One passage of Zorkin’s material recalls the author’s loyalty to the ideology of the “spiritual braces” of the “Russian world”: “Combine the inherent collectivism in the Russian people, formed — it can be said forged — by the harsh nature, countless defensive wars, and the need to unite many nations and nationalities” on their own land ", on the basis of the constitutional principles of a legal, democratic and social state - with the creation of a competitive economic and political environment"
Let us leave on the author’s conscience the thesis about the “defense wars” of Russia, we note that in the article Zorkin criticizing Western institutions and mechanisms, the ECHR, sanctions against the Russian Federation, nevertheless finds it expedient to form a stable two-party system in Russia, like those that the Anglo-Saxons have - in the UK and in the USA.
All sociological studies confirm the fact that now the main tension in Russian society is caused not by the adventurous Kremlin’s foreign policy, but by the demands of social justice.
From Zorkin's point of view, this and the other can be corrected by “point changes” - within the framework of the “living Constitution” doctrine. Here he sharply speaks out against the “radical constitutional reform,” which, he said, is fraught with sharp socio-political destabilization.
Zorkin further declares that a legal theory is needed, “synthesizing the ideas of individual freedom and social solidarity” and that this “is most relevant to the mentality of the Russian people.”
He also talks about social injustice, mentioning the “injustice of the privatization of large property in the 1990s” and says that “a liberal-individualistic approach to legal understanding, which would introduce an idea of solidarity is needed”.
I remember that in Ukraine, with the idea of solidarity (reminiscent of the ideology of Russian emigrants from the NTS), Yulia Tymoshenko was running about 12 years ago , who now, in the format of open expert discussions, calls for the country's transition to the Chancery of the Republic.
However, if Tymoshenko now has a mega-task, how to come to power, then Putin-how to keep her in the future. It is possible that the orientation to Germany, where the Chancellor plays the first violin, will also become the guiding star of the Russian government, and a reference point to the British or American two-party power system may come in handy as a backup airfield for the future political pensioner Putin.
I would not be surprised if he becomes the honorary chairman of the future party of power, under the nominal party management of his goddaughter Ksenia Sobchak ...
The article interviewing Zorkin on the day of publication caused a considerable resonance in his home country in the political and expert environment.
According to the deputy chairman of the constitutional committee of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation, Alexander Bashkin, he fully agrees with Zorkin, noting that in his article “not all the shortcomings of the Constitution are indicated”.
Criticism on the part of Zorkin is quite reasonable, -This opinion was expressed in an interview with Echo of Moscow by a lawyer, one of the authors of the current Constitution of the Russian Federation, Viktor Sheinis.
“This direction of development of the constitutional process seems to be very important, namely, the prevalence of executive power, violation of the principle of the balance of power, and mutual balancing of power. I think it would be appropriate to say that the judiciary in our country is completely unbalanced, and a fair and balanced judicial system is even more important than some procedural democratic norms, ”said Sheinis.
Changing the constitution is now dangerous, says politician Vladimir Ryzhkov. He said this in an interview with the same radio station.
“Now the amendment of the Constitution is very dangerous. Under the circumstances, it may happen that the 1993 Constitution is already rather unsuccessful in terms of the balance of power, and in terms of giving enormous power in the hands of the president, can be changed to an even worse, more authoritarian side, ”Ryzhkov stated.
According to the politician, Russian civil society is interested in preventing changes to the Constitution that would make it even less democratic and would concentrate even more power in the hands of the executive branch.
Political analyst Valery Solovey, on his Facebook, noted that he viewed Zorkin’s publication primarily as a search for options to continue Vladimir Putin’s term in office after the end of his fourth term by changing the state structure and the appearance of a non-elected post of “leader of the nation”.
But even before the appearance of Zorkin's article in the press, information appeared in several telegram channels (without confirmation) about the constitutional reform being prepared in Russia. In the well-known anonymous channel “Nezygar”, for example, there was such a record:
“On the eve of the 25th anniversary of the Russian Constitution, the President may initiate constitutional reform, which will be formalized by the Federal Assembly before the New Year. Constitutional reform will create a new constitutional model of power and initiate early elections for the President of the Russian Federation. ”
Recall that in accordance with Russian legislation, it is possible to adopt a new text of the Basic Law of the country by convening a Constitutional Assembly, a law on which has not been adopted since 1993, or a referendum. Part of the amendments can be made by the State Duma with the approval of two-thirds of the regional parliaments.
However, the Kremlin is now able to push through any decision, at least absurd, at least reasonable. And who knows, maybe under the influence of Western sanctions, so unloved by Zorkin, the latter will become more and soon the first timid contours of the new Russian restructuring will appear on the horizon, or at worst, the thaw?
Alexander Voronin, FNI