Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin, made an appearance in parliament to back an amendment that would allow him to ignore a constitutional ban on him running again in 2024.
On Wednesday, both houses of parliament overwhelmingly backed the changes that could keep Putin in power until 2035 if he won and completed two more terms as president.
This move would make him President of Russia for 36 years which is the longest tenure in the country’s modern history. He is currently the longest-serving leader since Josef Stalin.
According to the Kremlin statement on Saturday, Putin had signed off on the constitutional changes. However, the current constitutional court must now decide whether the changes are legal ahead of a planned nationwide vote on the amendments planned for April 22.
Putin would not be able to run for president again in 2024 due to term limits under the current law. But if the new measure will be approved, it would effectively reset his leadership term count to zero, allowing him to run for two more six-year terms.
Vladimir Putin, a former KGB officer, served two presidential terms in 2000-2008 before shifting to the Russian prime minister’s office while protégé Dmitry Medvedev served as a placeholder president.
He reclaimed the presidency in 2012 and won another election in 2018.
During his appearance in parliament on Tuesday, Putin said that Russia needs stability above all.
“The president is a guarantor of security of our state, its internal stability, and evolutionary development,” he said.
A series of constitutional amendments Putin proposed in January was widely seen by Kremlin foes as part of his efforts to stay in power. But it wasn’t clear until Tuesday how Putin could achieve this goal.
Other constitutional changes further strengthen the presidency and emphasize the priority of Russian law over international norms. The changes also outlaw same-sex marriage and mention “a belief in God” as one of Russia’s traditional values.