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LETTER: A surprising development

Vladimir Putin - Reuters

Who would have expected this? Russia has become a monarchy. Will there be a coronation?

Vladimir Putin is being given authority to remain in power until 2036.

In effect he has absolute power in Russia for as long as he wishes, and who knows if he will extend it beyond that date. With the office he inherits the problem facing all monarchies: the problem of succession.

Who will succeed him? How will his successor be chosen?

Compare his situation to that of Henry VIII of England. Henry became King at age 17 in 1509, and was immediately concerned with the matter of succession. It was a problem in his personal life, his religious life, his foreign policy, and his politics. When Henry died in 1547 he was succeeded by his only son, Edward, a 10-year-old boy.

Putin has inherited an immediate problem and has 16 years to deal with it.

Ian Wishart,
St. John's

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