Putin or Put-out
Under current law, Vladimir Putin will be required to step down as President in 2024. His and Trump’s presidencies would end at the same time, and together they could spend retirement getting facelifts, vacationing in Sandals, Jamaica and coming up with funny names for their podcast where they debate about which of their daughters is the hottest.
However, this is a scenario Putin desperately wants to avoid. That’s why he’s hoping a constitutional amendment will give him another twelve years in office. Under the new amendment, Putin could be in office until 2036, when he’d be 83 years old.
Yes, 83 seems kind of old to be ending your presidency. But that’s also around the age most American candidates would start their presidency.
Earlier this week, Putin said he had “not ruled out” running for another term. Which is kind of like saying Vin Diesel has “not ruled out” making 45 more Fast & Furious movies. In other words, it’s gonna happen.
A vote on the amendment was meant to take place in April, but has been postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Still, they’ve decided to go ahead with the vote in July because, according to elections chief Ella Pamfilova, “voting will be safer than shopping.” Welcome to Russia where the president bend the rules of the constitution to stay in power indefinitely but you can’t go outside to buy an overpriced crop top.
Putin also said that if he leaves office, the government will stop doing work because it will be too busy looking for his successor. But if he doesn’t leave office, the government will stop doing work because it’ll be too busy figuring out how to keep him in office another twelve years.
Either way, there’s a very real risk the Russian government will be less effective going forward, and it’s hard to imagine what the world will look like without their important global contributions, such as hacking, spying and embarrassing Hillary Clinton.
If Putin does stay in office, his term will have lasted longer than Les Miserables’ original Broadway run, Mike Myers’ acting career and any of Donald Trump’s marriages. His presidential career will also be older than the entire cast of Riverdale, which, for a respected Russian like Putin, is honestly the truest measure of success.