Friday, March 30, 2007

Putin still opposed to third term

6 MOSCOW, March 30 (RIA Novosti) - Vladimir Putin has not changed his position on a possible third presidential term and has no intention of running again, the Kremlin press service said Friday.

"The Russian president has repeatedly commented on the issue, and his position remains unchanged," the presidential press service said in response to a proposal voiced by Sergei Mironov, speaker of parliament's upper house, Friday to extend the presidential mandate to five-seven years and add a third term. "I propose you consider amending the relevant constitutional provisions," Mironov told the upper house, which approved him as speaker earlier Friday.

Mironov said he proposed that local legislatures across Russia discuss the issue in April and May, with the president himself making the final decision. Boris Gryzlov, the speaker of Russia's lower house, said Friday that he disagreed with Mironov's proposal "I do not support statements about amending the Constitution," Gryzlov said. "United Russia, which holds the majority in the Duma, will guard the Constitution's inviolability."

The prospect of President Vladimir Putin remaining in power for a third presidential term when his current term runs out in 2008 has been widely debated in Russia, although the president himself has repeatedly said he will not run again. Speaking at his annual televised question-and-answer session in October 2006, Vladimir Putin said: "I think I will manage to maintain the most important thing for a politician - your trust. And, using this, together we can influence life in our country."

No comments: