Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on April 5 that will allow him to serve two more presidential terms, potentially keeping him in office until 2036.
By signing the constitutional amendment, Putin limited any future president to serve two terms in office, but he also reset his term count because the new law specifically does not count terms until it came into force. This meant that his previous four terms — including the current term — do not count.
Putin had defended the amendment, arguing that it was to ensure that stability in the country remains by avoiding the distraction of looking for a successor among the political elite.
Putin said in March 2020, when the constitutional change was proposed, that the president was “the guarantor of the country’s security and domestic stability” and that the country should avoid political disorders.
Before he signed the law, Putin, 68, would have been required to step down after his fourth and current term expires in 2024.
If Putin remains in office until 2036, when he will be at the age of 83, he would become the longest-serving Russian leader since the Russian empire, surpassing Joseph Stalin who ruled for 29 years.
The new legislation also prevents anyone who has held a foreign citizenship from running for the Kremlin. It also grants him and former Dmitry Medvedev lifetime immunity from prosecution.
The legislation followed a raft of constitutional reforms last year, which Russians voted on last year in a referendum-like process.
The lower and upper house of parliament passed the legislation last March.
Putin first became president in 2000 after his predecessor, Boris Yeltsin, resigned.
Putin had also extended presidential terms to six years.
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