Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, has confirmed that he will run in the March 2024 elections. He linked the decision to the “need of the times”, which “must be on the side of the people”.
Since 2000, Putin has been the head of the government in Russia in the position of “president – prime minister – president”. How did he and other post-Soviet governors, including Tajikistan, prolong their statehood?
December 8, 2023. State awards ceremony in the Kremlin. Artem Joga, the leader of Donetsk separatists, received an award from the Russian president and asked him to participate in the March elections. Vladimir Putin did not refuse either .
He said that now “the time has come” that he “must be with the people” and that he will be a candidate in the elections. Putin’s statement did not surprise many.
Vladimir Putin was first elected president of Russia in 2000. At that time, one person had the right to become president twice and for four years. Putin used this right and in 2008 temporarily gave his seat to his ally in the government, Dmitry Medvedev. He himself became the prime minister in his place. Under Medvedev, the Russian Constitution was changed and the presidential term was extended from four to six years.
Putin returned to the presidency in 2012. This situation was repeated in the 2018 elections. The Constitution of Russia was amended in 2020, giving Putin the right to participate in the presidential elections for the fifth and sixth time. Something that paved his way to the March 2024 elections in Russia.
Emomali Rahmon has been the president of the Republic of Tajikistan since 1994. Two years before that, he was the chairman of the Supreme Council and practically the leader of the country. By changing the Constitution several times, he managed to secure his presence in the elections and prolong the life of his government .
In 2020, Rahmon became the president of Tajikistan for the fifth time. According to official data, more than 90 percent passed. Unlike the observers of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Western organizations and countries do not consider the elections in Tajikistan to be transparent and free and have always said that they are devoid of real competition.
In the 2016 referendum, Emomali Rahmon was given the right to participate in the presidential elections without limits. In the same year, he was given the title of “Founder of National Peace and Unity – Leader of the Nation”, and he and his family members enjoyed lifelong immunity.
Experts believe that Rahmon is preparing to transfer power to his son , Rustam Emomali. Rustam Emomali is now the chairman of the National Assembly, the upper chamber of the parliament, and at the same time the mayor of Dushanbe.
During the years of Emomali Rahmon’s leadership, his opponents and rivals left the country or were thrown into prison. The current president is considered the main embodiment of all achievements in Tajikistan. Most of his children and sons-in-law and other relatives are working in government positions or are leading important commercial companies.
Nursultan Nazarbayev, the first president of Kazakhstan, worked in this position for 29 years. In 1990, he was elected president by the deputies of the Supreme Council of Soviet Kazakhstan. In 1995, his term of office was extended until 2000.
In total, four presidential election campaigns in Kazakhstan ended with the victory of Nazarbayev. According to official information, he won more than 97 percent of the votes only in the 2015 elections.
In 2007, the Parliament of Kazakhstan, by amending the Basic Law, gave Nazarbayev the right to participate in the presidential elections of his country without restrictions as “elbasi” or “leader of the nation”. Others had the right to be nominated only twice.
In 2019, Nursultan Nazarbayev handed over his authority to Kasimjomart Tokayev, the chairman of the Supreme Assembly of Kazakhstan , but practically kept the administration of the country in his hands.
A year before the “resignation” of Nazarbayev, the law on the Security Council of Kazakhstan was adopted. According to it, the first president of Kazakhstan became the lifelong or permanent head of this influential institution. The Security Council was not only responsible for ensuring security and defense capabilities, but also for ensuring political stability, protecting the constitutional order and national interests. Tokayev needed to coordinate key decisions with the Security Council.
The situation changed after the events of January 2022, which, according to observers, “was a struggle between Nazarbayev and Tokayev for power.” Against the backdrop of protests and unrest, Tokayev assumed the presidency of the Security Council. He dismissed the officials of the security services. They were later accused of attempting a coup d’état. According to political experts, Tokayev came out of the shadow of the former president after the bloody events of January 2022.
Last year, the Constitution of Kazakhstan was amended twice, removing any mention of the first president. The term of the presidency was set once and its length is seven years. According to it, Tokayev’s previous leadership term became “invalid”, he ran again in November of last year and became the winner of the election, which critics consider to be devoid of real competition.
After 15 years of government, Kurbankhuli Berdimuhamedov handed over the presidency of the republic to his son Sardar Berdimuhamedov in 2022 . He himself took this position after the death of the former leader and autocrat Safarmurad Niyazov.
Turkmenistan is known as one of the closed and repressive countries in the world. Western organizations and countries constantly criticize this country for widespread violation of human rights, pressure on freedom of press and expression and other basic human freedoms.
In Uzbekistan, amendments to the Constitution have been used several times to extend the life of the government. The first president of this country, Islam Karimov, took the reins of power in 1991 and held this position until his death in 2016.
After the death of Karimov, this position was given to the former prime minister of the government, Shavkat Mirziyoyev. He received more than 88 percent of votes in the 2016 elections and 80 percent in the 2021 elections.
In the spring of 2023, a referendum was held in Uzbekistan and the Constitution was changed. Based on it, the presidential term was extended from five to seven years, and the first term of Mirziyoyev’s leadership was equal to zero. Early elections were held this summer, and according to the announcement of the Central Election Commission of Uzbekistan, Mirziyoyev won 87 percent of the vote . He has the opportunity to continue his government until 2037.
Alexander Lukashenko was elected president of Belarus in 1994, when he was only 40 years old. At that time, according to the Constitution of Belarus, one person had the right to become the president of the republic twice and not more than five years. However, in 2004, on the initiative of Lukashenko, a referendum was held and the Constitution was changed. The presidential term limit was abolished.
Lukashenko ran for the last time in the 2020 elections. The Central Election Commission said that he received more than 80 percent of the votes and qualified for the sixth term of leadership. However, representatives of the opposition and independent observers reported widespread fraud in the elections.
Opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya declared herself the winner of the election. Belarus was hit by many protests, but it was suppressed by the government. Tikhanovskaya left the country under pressure. Western countries do not recognize Lukashenko as the legitimate leader of Belarus.
Early elections will be held in Azerbaijan in February 2024. Many believe that Ilham Aliyev , the current president of the republic, will be the main candidate. He has been in charge of the country for twenty years. He took power from his father, Ilham Aliyev.
In the 2018 elections, which the opposition representatives “boycotted”, according to the Central Election Commission, Aliyev received more than 86 percent of the votes. Human Rights Watch says that the people were not given the right to make real choices.
Before that, in 2009, in the Constitution of Azerbaijan, the restriction of participation in presidential elections was removed. In 2016, the Constitution of Azerbaijan was changed again and the term of office was extended from five to seven years. At the same time, the post of deputy president was added to the government system. In February 2017, Ilham Aliyev appointed his wife Mehruban Aliyeva as his deputy. In case of premature resignation of the president, his duties will be carried out by his deputy until the elections are held.
Source : Радио Озоди