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Putin signs law that could keep him in Kremlin until 2036

Putin is serving his fourth term as president but with his signature, that total is now reset to zero.

Staff Writers
1 minute read
Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: AP
Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law that could keep him in office until 2036, the government said on Monday.

Under the previous legislation, he would have had to leave the Kremlin at the next election.

Putin, 68, is currently serving his second consecutive term as president and his fourth in total.

One of last year’s approved constitutional amendments reset Putin’s number of terms served to zero, meaning that he could potentially lead the country until 2036. By then, he will be 84 years old.

The legislation allows him to run for two more six-year terms once his current stint ends in 2024, Reuters is reporting.

Those changes were backed in a public vote last summer with nearly 80% of voters supporting the changes, according to the official tally.

The reform, which critics cast as a constitutional coup, was packaged with an array of other amendments that were expected to garner popular support, such as one bolstering pension protections.

The legislation was passed in the lower and upper houses of parliament last month.

With Putin’s signature, these amendments are now officially part of Russia’s federal law.

As well as resetting Putin’s terms, the new document also establishes additional requirements for a president.

The new rules state that candidates must not have ever held any other citizenship or residence permit from a foreign country and must have permanently resided in Russia for at least 25 years. All future presidents will be limited to two terms in office.

Russia’s opposition parties slammed the changes.

The vote was derided by Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov, who accused the constitutional process of having “incomprehensible rules”.