Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed changes to the Russian constitution that will allow him to rule the country until 2036.
Radio Free Europe reports that the controversial bill would allow Putin to remain in power almost indefinitely. It was recently approved by the lower and upper chambers of the Russian Parliament. The constitutional changes were approved by Russian voters last year.
Essentially, the change to the constitution resets Putin’s term limit clock to zero, and allows him to seek reelection in 2024, and again in 2030. Under previous election laws, the president is not allowed to seek a third consecutive six year term. Putin is currently in his second consecutive six year term as president.
Amendments to the constitution were begun in Jan. 2020 by Putin, who has been in charge of Russia since 1999, when he first became the prime minister. He later resumed power as the nation’s president.
According to Radio Free Europe, the nationwide vote for the amendments last summer sparked widespread protests in Moscow and became the subject of international condemnation by government watchdog groups.
Radio Free Europe reports that in March, the results of a poll by the independent Levada Center found that 41 per cent of Russians do not want Putin to remain in power after his current term expires in three years.