Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday approved a legislation that allows him to hold office for two additional six-year terms, which could mean he will remain on the post till 2036, AFP reported.
The 68-year-old Russian leader, who has already been in power for more than two decades, had proposed the changes last year as part of constitutional reforms. The changes were backed in a public vote in July 2020. The legislation was then passed in the lower and upper houses of the Russian Parliament last month, according to Reuters.
The law, signed by Putin, limits any future president to two terms in office, but resets his tenure. It also prevents anyone who has held foreign citizenship from running for the Kremlin.
The amendments will also give the president additional powers to fire judges in the country’s higher courts and to reject laws passed by the Parliament. Other additions include guarantees for pension payouts as well as minimum salaries. It will give the country’s Parliament additional power to nominate the head of government.
Critics of Putin have termed the legislations as a “constitutional coup”, according to Reuters.
Putin has ruled Russia for more than 20 years. He first served two consecutive four-year terms but as a third straight term would breach the constitutional limit, he became the prime minister in 2008. He returned as president in 2012 after the presidential term was extended to six years. He got re-elected in 2018.