MOSCOW-(MaraviPost)-Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a change to the country’s constitution that will allow him to run for two more six-year terms, granting himself the chance to remain in power until 2036.
The government’s legal information portal posted the new law on Monday, April 5th confirming that the legislation had been finalized.
According to AFP report, the Russian leader, 68, has already run the country for more than two decades and was supposed to step down after his fourth and current term in 2024. However, with his recent crackdown on political opponents and civil society, he has made it clear that there’s little room for dissent.
Putin proposed the change last year as part of constitutional reforms that Russians ultimately voted 78 percent in favour of the changes in July. This was followed by approval of the bill last month by Lawmakers.
The legislation will reset presidential term limits, allowing Putin to run in elections again after his current and second consecutive term expires in 2024.
However, the main opposition leader in the country Alexey Navalny criticized the vote last summer saying the constitutional reforms were a pretext to allow Putin to become “president for life”.
The 44-year-old Navalny who was arrested on his return to Russia in January, after spending months in Germany recovering from a poisoning attack last summer is currently serving a 2-and-a-half-year prison sentence on charges he insists are politically motivated.
While in prison, the outspoken Putin critic and anti-corruption crusader, announced a hunger strike March 31 to protest what he said was a lack of access to proper medical care at the facility known for its harsh conditions.
Putin was first elected president in 2000 and served two consecutive four-year terms. His ally Dmitry Medvedev took his place in 2008, which critics saw as a way around Russia’s limit on two consecutive terms for presidents.
Putin would be 85 when he leaves office if he is elected and serves two additional terms to their end in 2036.