Russia’s President Vladimir Putin signed a new law which allows him to remain in power till 2036. In 2020, Russians overwhelmingly voted to approve amendments to Russia’s constitution in a referendum regarding the same. Mr. Putin’s second consecutive term is set to end in 2024. With the new amendment in effect, President Putin can now run for two more six year terms.
The Russian lower house of parliament, the Duma, passed the bill on constitutional amendments in March 2021. With new amendments, Russian Presidents will still be limited to two terms but this provision will not be applicable to anyone who has served before the amendments came into effect. This effectively resets Mr. Putin’s term in office and could theoretically allow him to remain in power until 2036.
The July 2020 referendum in which Russian people voted also had around 200 amendments to the 1993 constitution, including defining marriage as strictly between a man and woman and other provisions emphasising conservative social values and nationalism. The amendments also state that anyone who has ever held a “second citizenship or foreign residency permit” cannot become Russian president.
“I have said many times that it was necessary to adopt amendments to Russia’s basic law, the Constitution. Here we have the improvement of the political system as well as social guarantees, strengthening of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and, finally, our spiritual, historical and moral values that link our generations,” said Mr. Putin in a statement after the referendum in 2020.
Mr Putin has been the foremost leader of Russia for two decades. He has already served two consecutive terms as president from 2000 till 2008. He had to step down after that according to the rules of the previous 1993 constitution. He then served as Prime Minister from 2008 to 2012. He had previously served as Prime Minister from 1999 to 2000 under Yelstin administration.
He was again reelected as president in 2012 and 2018.