The lower house of the Russian legislature, the Russian State Duma, approved changes requested to the Russian constitution by President Vladimir Putin earlier in the year. One of the proposals would allow Putin to stay in the highest office in the land until 2036.
The move came as part of sweeping constitutional changes that Putin first announced in January and many saw as a ploy by the Russian leader to retain power beyond 2024, when his second consecutive presidential term will come to an end, reported The Moscow Times.
Tuesday offered clarity. During a State Duma session on the amendments, Valentina Tereshkova, a deputy who was the first woman in space, proposed adding another change to the list — resetting presidential terms to zero after the constitutional amendments are passed to allow Putin to run for president once again.
“This would be a stabilizing factor for our society,” she said.
Putin made comments after the passage of the measure to applause from the legislative body.
“In principle, this option would be possible, but on one condition: if the Constitutional Court formally concluded that such an amendment would not contradict the principles and basic provisions of basic law and the Constitution.”
Putin, 67, is Russia’s longest serving leader since Josef Stalin.
The bill sets a limit of two presidential terms but the incumbent head of state will have the opportunity to run for president once the amendments come into force. The bill expands the authority of Russia’s parliament and Constitutional Court, bars officials from holding foreign passports and residence permits and ensures the supremacy of the Constitution within Russia’s legal system, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
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