Russia’s Putin: When turning tables upside down works

Vladimir Putin, the 2nd President of the Russian Federation, (from 2000 to 2008), now doubles as Prime Minister and the chairman of United Russia. He succeeded President Boris Yeltsin in 2000.

Vladimir Putin, the 2nd President of the Russian Federation, (from 2000 to 2008), now doubles as Prime Minister and the chairman of United Russia. He succeeded President Boris Yeltsin in 2000.

Speaking to delegates at the congress, Vladimir Putin noted that it was perfectly normal and natural in democratic nations for the head of a party to serve as Prime Minister.

He confirmed that he had accepted the proposal of Russia’ President-elect, Dmitry Medvedev, to head the Government of the Russian Federation in accordance with the timeframe stipulated in the Constitution.

Vladimir has managed to remain in the Russian political arena in style. He switched from being a President to Prime minister, where he still has very strong influence in the government. Very few leaders would take the option and that is why he makes a very unique leader of the 21st century.

A Russian political analyst observes his move in the following way: “The premiership has generally been a low-visibility and subsidiary post, but Putin knows how to maximize its potential. As prime minister in 1999, he used the job as a launch pad to eight years in the Kremlin. Previous prime ministers were dullish administrators, but Putin’s speech to the State Duma before lawmakers’ vote approving his appointment demonstrated how powerful the post can be”.

The candidate that was chosen by Putin is a little known figure in overseas politics. He is however, widely expected to work under strong influence of his former president who will no doubt put him to such levels. Putin had earlier stated that he would only accept the PM post if only his long term friend was elected as president.

“If the people give their trust to Dmitri Anatolyevich Medvedev and he is elected president, then I would be ready to continue my work as head of government,” Mr. Putin said.

Political analysts and experts in Russian politics were quick to affirm that, this puts Putin in better position to succeed as the president under Russian law. Under the Russian constitution, Putin now as a Prime minister can contest again for a presidential seat.

Putin thus, in a typical style reminiscent of the Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin, successfully managed to keep himself in the Russian political system.

Lenin was one of the leading political figures and revolutionary thinkers of the 20th century, who masterminded the Bolshevik take-over of power in Russia in 1917 and was the architect and first head of the Soviet state.

Lenin is remembered for various inspiring assertions against capitalists and capitalism. He for example asserts that: “The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency; the press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses and that when there is state there can be no freedom, but when there is freedom there will be no state.”

Putin sets a good lesson

Many leaders especially in developing countries of Africa have failed to forge a reasonable way, to hand over or retain power. Yet some of them are genuinely needed by the time constitutions demand them to retire from active politics.

The Putin Example however, sets a good example to all those who still ‘fumble with a way in and out’ of active politics. Such politicians lack what we call, ‘turning the tables the way that works’.

Some good leaders have been pushing their countries so high in all areas of social, economic and political development, but their efforts could only be reversed by their successors.

It is against this background therefore, that, they have been desperately fighting to retain their political positions and achievements.

The assertion does not however, rule out the fact that there many leaders too, who after messing their countries feel that they should retain the power and the mess for ever.

The latter is completely unacceptable and should be fought with all the might but the former is justified because it is in the interest of a nation and people at large.

It is lamentable though, that some leaders have gone as far as changing their countries’ constitutions from time to time, a thing that has created chaos.

Other countries have had violent election processes, which have claimed lives and left the economies of nations in question, in shambles.

All these political manoeuvres are not worthwhile and its high time African leaders learnt the Putin style of turning tables the way that works.

The African proverb gives us another related lesson that it is always wrong to start learning how to ride a bicycle from the ‘horns’ (handlebar). And that it is not bad to do what other people do, but what is wrong is doing it the wrong way.

This however, must be backed by the fact that what you are doing is in the interest of the nation and the people. Anything that jeopardises the lives of people and the nation is not welcome and any leader who is trying to retain power so that he/she continues to destroy the nation is not part of the assertion.


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