02 October 2007

The Head of the House of Romanoff believes that limiting the tenure of the President to only two terms amounts to a limitation on the will of the people

The Head of the House of Romanoff believes that limiting the tenure of the President to only two terms amounts to a limitation on the will of the people

Moscow, 2 October, INTERFAX. The Head of the Russian Imperial House, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, believes it justified to extend the term of office of the head of state, noting that in this way Russia is gradually moving toward monarchy.

“It is characteristic of the Russian people to think of their relationship to authority as a relationship to a fatherly institution. Such a relationship is imbedded in the consciousness of the people. Not a revolution, nor all the subsequent reforms and counter-reforms, could erase this sensibility,” stated the Grand Duchess to “Interfax” on Tuesday.

In her opinion, “the ideal expression of that [fatherly] authority is monarchy, and those measures that the authorities are currently striving to enact and make consistent with the aspirations of the people, and to introduce several elements which are based on the governmental traditions of Russia, one can recognize as a move in the right direction.”

“To talk about the reestablishment of the monarchy is premature; however it is necessary, of course, to re-establish the best parts of our traditions,” said the Grand Duchess.

In her view, restricting the president in Russia to two terms in office is a “limitation put on the people’s will.”

“In the end, in a republican system a person should not remain in office as head of state for life. But all the same, if the people want to see a person in this post for a third or even fourth term, why is it necessary to deny the people’s will?” said [Grand Duchess] Maria Vladimironva.

She noted that no one should remain in power through force, “but if the president is competent to continue his work, then one must give the people the right to decide if they want to continue to see this person at the head of the state or not.”

In the opinion of the Grand , the limiting of the elected presidential administration to two terms “is obviously a borrowing from the US Constitution and was not at all a well thought-out decision.”

“Russia is now at the crossroads; not all reforms of governmental life have been formulated definitively. Therefore this limitation on presidential terms may interrupt reforms that have been started,” said the head of the House of Romanoff.

In her words, in such a situation the former president “always can say he failed to complete the things he had begun, and the new president can always say that he did not initiate these reforms and sees things differently. A situation results where no one ever takes responsibility for the state of affairs in the country.”

At the same time, the authorities, according to [Grand Duchess] Maria Vladimirovna, “should follow the constitution.” She stated that she had enormous respect for President Vladimir Putin’s stated intention to “follow the current Constitution,” emphasizing that “even if the law in some aspect is deficient, while it is in force, it needs to be followed.”

The Grand Duchess also noted that at present and in the foreseeable future “one must simply welcome the fact that the government is trying to preserve continuity.” “For Russia, it is more important than anything to preserve stability, to protect the people from various shocks,” she said.

[Grand Duchess] Maria Vladimirovna expressed her hope that choice [in the coming election] of the people will fall on an individual, “who will not break with all that has been accomplished by his predecessors.” “That is how Vladimir Putin behaved as he replaced the already unpopular President Boris Yeltsyn, not sharply changing course but rather declaring his intention to follow through on previous policies.”

The Grand Duchess also expressed her hope that Vladimir Putin would remain “in a leadership role and would continue to utilize his still considerable potential for the good of the country.”

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