Vladimir Putin may plan on retiring from politics soon due to ill health. There are multiple reports that the Russian leader may have Parkinson’s.
British tabloid The Sun started all of the brouhaha with its report. Unfortunately, it has yet to be confirmed by any serious news outlets.
The rumors also speculate that Vladimir Putin may have himself appointed Senator for Life. Under a new Russian law this would give him immunity from any possible prosecutions after he leaves office.
Like Donald Trump Mr. Putin must surely fear reprisals for what he has done in more than 20 years in power if and when he does cede the Russian Presidency.
If Putin should become a Senator for life he would just be copying what former Chilean dictator Augustus Pinochet did when he finally stepped down after 20 years in power.
The news is a surprise considering that Vladimir Putin had Russian laws changed not that long ago to allow himself to remain in power indefinitely. Putin is currently serving a six year term, which was changed from the previous four year Russian Presidential term of office.
And Vladimir Putin is no longer limited to serving no more than two consecutive terms as Russia’s president. It was this clause in the Russian constitution which forced him to step down as President in 2008. So Putin conveniently traded jibs with Russia’s then Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev who served one term as President while Putin served as Prime Minister.
But is Vladimir Putin really sick? Who knows?
The Daily Mail cited sources claiming that Putin’s mistress Ilena Kabaeva and his daughters Maria Vorontsova, 35 and Katerina Tikhonova, 34, have all been urging him to retire.
If these reports prove to be true then the big question will be who is next in line to replace Putin.
According to the reports he is already looking to appoint a new prime minister who Putin is expected to groom as his replacement. But it will not be so simple.
Once people in power smell blood and are sure that President Putin is on his way out they are sure to make their own moves to pick a replacement.
Unlike in America where Donald Trump has probably just been voted out of office, in Russia it will be the people behind the scenes who will make the big decisions.