Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday sent to the State Duma lower house of parliament a bill allowing senior government officials to remain in office until 70 years of age, cancelling the 60-year age requirement that was established in 2010 by the then President Dmitry Medvedev. However, in each case this will be done only on the personal order of the president.
The authors of the document believe that thus highly qualified staff can be kept in civil service, the Izvestia daily writes. “The implementation of the approach proposed by the bill would be consistent with the general trend fixed by the Russian legislation for judges, prosecutors and members of the Investigative Committee of Russia, the age limit for whom on their posts is 70 years,” the publication quotes the text of the bill’s explanatory note.
The novelty will affect only the heads of federal agencies and departments, deputy ministers of the RF government, the president’s advisers, heads of his administration, the plenipotentiary representatives in the regions, in the State Duma and the Federation Council, the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper writes. Currently, according to the Law “On Civil Service” officials when they turn 60 should retire. In exceptional cases they may remain in office until they turn 65. But this is the age limit.
Vladimir Putin thus has shown “an extra fig sign” to all those who believed that he would limit himself to the current term, believes head of the Effective Politics Foundation Gleb Pavlovsky, quoted by the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily. “This is a simple signal both to the country and the elites - he, Putin, can work also when he is 70 years old.” In addition, the president has once again demonstrated no-confidence in Dmitry Medvedev, the politician believes: “This policy strikingly goes together with his keeping on the post of prime minister. This is one of the main Putin’s motives - it has now become clear how unhappy he once had been with Medvedev’s “rejuvenation of personnel” policy.
Political analyst, member of the scientific council of the Moscow Carnegie Centre Alexei Malashenko has negatively assessed this decision, the Novye Izvestia daily writes. “This bill is based on a pragmatic calculation,” he believes, “which takes into account Putin’s peers and teammates. This bill applies to those who supported him, it is his support, and he simply cannot abandon them. And this is already bad. When there is such stagnation, and it is exactly the case, then it is fraught with explosion. When the younger generation, who are now ‘in their fifties’ and who also are already not boys start to press them, major problems will arise. The adoption of this bill will create competition, but not in terms of intelligence and activity, and in terms of commitment and loyalty.”