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Putin backs amendment to remain in power beyond his term, possibly until 2036

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Jan. 27, 2019, marking the 75th anniversary of the complete liberation of Leningrad from the Nazi siege. (Kremlin/Released)
March 10, 2020

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates as more information becomes available.

Russian President Vladimir Putin could continue to hold office under a newly proposed Russian constitutional amendment doing away with term limits.

Putin supports the constitutional amendment, which would allow him to run again for president in 2024 despite the current term limits, ABC News reported Tuesday. Russian lawmaker Valentina Tereshkova proposed the the amendment to either do away with Russia’s limit of two, six-year presidential terms or resetting the count on the number of terms Putin has served.

If his term count is reset, Putin could serve until 2036 with the two additional six-year terms he would be given.

Putin, the 67-year-old president, did indicate he was against scrapping presidential term limits, but was in favor of seeing the constitution revised so that term limits are only counted from 2024 on. Putin has already won four presidential terms, having held office from 2000 to 2008 before becoming Prime Minister, while Dmitry Medvedev took the presidency and allowed Putin to reset the term count before running for the office of president in 2012 and again in 2018.

Putin has been in power, either as president or prime minister, for more than 20 years.

In January, Putin voiced support for a constitutional referendum process, and while some Russian experts speculated Putin was maneuvering to exercise some control over future administrations, his goals for the constitutional process weren’t immediately clear.

“I propose to either lift the presidential term limit or add a clause that after the revised constitution enters force, the incumbent president, just like any other citizen, has the right to seek the presidency,” Tereshkova announced Tuesday.

“The president is a guarantor of security of our state, its internal stability and evolutionary development,” Putin said in support of Tereshkova’s proposal. “We have had enough revolutions.”

The lower house of Russia’s legislative body, the State Duma, already endorsed Tereshkova’s proposal by a vote of 382-0, with 44 abstentions.

Putin indicated he would seek the opinion of Russia’s constitutional court to determine if the move is legal, though the judicial body’s affirmation is already likely, according to ABC.