Vladimir Posner

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Vladimir Vladimirovich Posner (also spelled Pozner) is a Russian journalist and TV-host.



  • We have a constitution, where it is plainly stated, that a person can serve as president for two consecutive terms. That doesn’t mean never afterwards. After four years he is welcome to try to run for president again. And mind, when I told this a major American figure just the other day, he said: “Your constitution is right, and ours is wrong, because we have it thus: two terms, that’s it, and never again. For instance, if we had it as in your constitution, now Bill Clinton would stand for president, and he would have won.” And basically I think that this is the right viewpoint, because if after a four-year break a person can be elected once more, well, obviously, he deserves it, that’s what I make of it. After all, four years is a big stretch of time. So, I guess president Putin shares this viewpoint as well. That is why he does not alter the constitution, he firmly refuses to do so. I am sorry to say that not all people share this viewpoint. Well, Nikita Mikhalkov, for one, or Zurab Tsereteli, who wrote to president and by that said to him, as it were: don’t you care for that constitution, change it, then go ahead and stay for third term. And speaker of Federation Council, head of “Spravedlivaya Rossiya” party Sergey Mironov is expostulating with president on not altering, but outskirting the constitution, and still staying for third term.
  • And for those gentlemen, and also for those sharing their viewpoint, the constitution is just a piece of paper, nothing more. You can twist it any way you like. I understand that what I am about to say, will set many of my critics indignant, but I’ll have to live with that, actually I am quite used to it all. I would like to compare president Putin with the first president of the USA George Washington. But in one aspect only, that. Washington had been elected for two terms, and when the time came for third term, he said: “We did not get rid of the English king to make our own.” And refused to run for third term. And by that he created a precedent, which was not violated in America, well, for almost 140 years. It was first breached only by president Roosevelt at the beginning of World War II, and the amendment to the constitution, the so-called twenty-second, was ratified in 1952, when the number of terms was limited.
    • Closing speech (27 October 2007)
  • I do not know how Vladimir Putin will be esteemed by the future history, but I have no doubt that among his successes and advantages for Russia historians shall absolutely note the fact of his not altering the constitution, for he created a precedent. And afterwards, no matter who might become president, it shall be extremely difficult to alter the constitution exactly on that point. Extremely difficult.
    • Closing speech (27 October 2007)
  • So, I mean to say, as for those who are proving their allegiance with what I would call sickening perseverance, and who are urging the president to brush away the constitution, those I would like to remind of a Russian proverb: “Don’t spit into the well, it’ll come in handy once you’re thirsty.
    • Closing speech (27 October 2007)

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