10/15/2018, 09.18
RUSSIA
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Changing the constitution to make Putin Tsar forever

by Vladimir Rozanskij

The President of the Constitutional Court Valerij Zorkin pushes for a reform creating a non-elective charge of "leader of the nation", a synthesis of all the aspirations of the Russian people. The figure head would defend Russian sovereignty against sanctions, individual liberalism and international courts such as the Hague Human Rights Tribunal. Putin gets ready.

Moscow (AsiaNews) – The President of the Constitutional Court Valerij Zorkin, from the outset the greatest guardian of Putinism, has proposed a constitutional reform that contemplates the non-elective position of "leader of the nation", in practice an investiture of a sovereign nature.

Already at the head of the Constitutional Court of Russia under Yetsyn in 1991-1993, Zorkin (pictured together with his president) distinguished himself as the only barrier to the complete dissolution of the Soviet system: he broke several legal obstacles to the privatizations of the early post-communist years; he tried to limit the sale of natural resources abroad; with a sensational sentence of 1992 he managed to save the base of the Communist Party from Yeltsin’s liquidation allowing it to remain in the political arena, even if in a reduced form.

In an article entitled "Letter and Spirit of the Constitution" published in the Rossiskaja Gazeta of 9 October, but re-published and commented on by all the Russian media in recent days, the top Russian jurist proposes to "respond to the concerns and expectations of the population" and to requests for changes with a series of "punctual reforms" of the constitutional charter, which guarantee "greater social justice", the effectiveness of the political system passing to a two-party scheme, and above all to curb "the expansion of the extra-national regulation of conflicts", as for example with the judgments of the Court of Human Rights in The Hague.

Essentially, it is a further "sovereign" interpretation of the legal and institutional structure of the State, on which Zorkin has always insisted. Already in 2016, faced with the "invasive" measures of international courts and the resurgence of sanctions against Russia, he affirmed that "the global legal system is heading for catastrophe, as the Apostle Paul had already announced". In particular, Zorkin's condemnation is directed to the excesses of the "defense of human rights, which leads to the degradation of the moral solidity of society and destroys its religious identity".

In Zorkin's opinion, the defense of "every kind of minority" causes considerable damage to all the other social components. At a conference in Serbia in 2014, he stated that "the old democrats, inspired by the ideals of liberalism, continue to propose new forms of defense of all types of minority, and they often ignore the objections of their own citizens, who are concerned about the consequences of these decisions ".

In his public speeches and in university lectures, the jurist has always openly supported the priority of Russian law over the international one, a thesis that provided the theoretical justification of the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and of various other Russian interventions on the international scene. Even agreements with foreign countries, in fact, cannot in his opinion constitute a delegation to others of Russian sovereignty.

In internal politics Zorkin proposes an institutional form that "synthesizes the idea of ​​individual freedom with social solidarity" that corresponds as much as possible to the "mentality of the Russian people". Recalling the injustices of the privatizations of the 1990s, which caused social imbalances and resentments, in his opinion "we need a correction of the individualistic-liberal approach, in favor of the solidarity collectivism inherent in the Russian soul". This is also because "the model of representative liberal democracy, characteristic for the majority of developed countries, as recognized by the major politicians of Europe and America, today is no longer able to face the challenges of contemporary society".

According to Zorkin, "Russian natural collectivism" is tempered "by the severe climate of nature, by innumerable defensive wars, by the need to unite a multitude of peoples and nationalities in the common destiny of our land".

Combining democracy and differences, collectivism and competition, according to the president of the Russian constitutional court, is possible only if the role of the "national leader for life" is clearly identified, the supreme synthesis of all the aspirations of the Russian people. Putin's spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, has denied that the reform is inspired by the presidential administration itself: "We believe - he said - that Zorkin's article is only an expert analysis of an on the subject".

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