Does Putin Have PARKINSONS? Russian President Reportedly Eyeing Retirement

( Reports suggest that Russian President Vladimir Putin may be eyeing retirement and planning to stop down from his position next year, as rumors circulate that he is battling Parkinson’s Disease.

The Sun, a British tabloid newspaper, reported how Kremlin watchers analyzed footage of the 68-year-old Russian leader exhibiting what appear to be symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Observers noted that Putin’s legs were in “constant motion” and that he “looked to be in pain while clutching the armrest of a chair.”

The New York Post also reported on the story, suggesting that Putin was planning to step down next year.

Russian lawmakers are also reportedly discussing giving ex-presidents lifelong immunity from criminal prosecutions, which would protect Putin from criminal investigations should any opponents ever win power or go after him.

Speaking to Russian news agency Interfax, Russian Senator Andrei Klishas said that the proposed legislation “secures immunity guarantees for ex-presidents beyond the terms of their presidential powers” and “expands the time frame of immunity guarantees for a president who stops exercising his powers.”

It hardly makes you feel like Putin is a law-abiding guy, does it?

The bill, however, does allow lawmakers to make moves to rescind the immunity clause. That means if two-thirds of Russia’s legislative chambers accuse an ex-president of high treason or other crimes, then the protections are lost. As it stands, however, both chambers of the Russian parliament are currently controlled by Putin allies.

According to The Guardian, President Putin submitted a proposal in early November that gives former presidents a lifetime seat as a senator in the Federation Council. It would mean that even upon leaving office, Putin would still be able to exert some power over Russian politics, and would be protected once again as the position comes with another promise of lifetime immunity from prosecution.