Russian parliament passes amendment that could keep Putin in power until 2036
The 67-year-old president would have to step down in 2024 but Parliament's move may extend that 12 more years.
The Russian parliament passed constitutional changes Wednesday that could keep leader Vladimir Putin in power through 2036.
Right now, the 67-year-old Putin is required to step down after his existing term ends in 2024.
However, the constitutional amendment that passed through the Russian parliament would allow Putin to seek reelection enough times to keep him in power for roughly the next 16 years. Russian presidential terms are six years each.
The next step is for the Russian constitutional court to either reject or approve the amendment, which will determine whether it appears on a nationwide ballot April 22.
The amendment passed in the lower house without a single no vote, though 43 members abstained from voting. It passed the upper house, the Federation Council, 160-1 with three members abstaining.
Putin critics argue the amendment is an attempt by the former KGB officer to secure a lifetime presidential appointment. Putin argues that government term limits become obsolete during times of crisis.
Opponents of the amendment had planned to protest, but the Russian government has banned public gatherings of more than 5,000 people through April 10, citing fears over spreading the coronavirus.
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