Putin calls for gradual transfer of power
Moscow, July 31 (IANS/RIA Novosti) President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that the transfer of power in Russia's political system must be gradual and continuity in the succession was important.
Putin made the remarks while addressing the Lake Seliger camp, the site of an annual gathering of pro-Kremlin youth activists for almost a month of discussions and forums.
"The succession in such country as Russia with a developing democracy is extremely important," he said.
"We must retain all the best and should not destroy everything completely. Move gradually, calmly, with the necessary rotation, but move forward."
The president said that the most important document for Russia, as for any other democratic country, is the constitution, which must be strictly observed and remain unchanged.
"I had such a possibility. The constitution could have been easily changed, and, speaking about myself, I could have stayed for a third (presidential) term. But the constitution prohibited this," he said.
The constitution used to limit the president to two consecutive four-year terms. Putin served as president between 2000 and 2008. He was elected again in 2012, this time to a six-year term.
Putin told the activists that although Russia's system of government should change gradually, two-thirds of the government had recently been replaced with new officials.
"The youngest minister is 29 years old. He could just as easily sit here with you and suit your company," he said.
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