Putin signs law allowing him to serve two more terms

 Steph Deschamps / April 6, 2021

Russian President Vladimir Putin, 68, signed a law on Monday allowing him to run for two more presidential terms, paving the way for him to remain in the Kremlin until 2036.


This law, published on the official Russian portal, had been finally adopted by the Parliament in March, after a constitutional referendum held in the summer of 2020.


Vladimir Putin, who has been at the helm of the country since 2000, should in theory have stepped down at the end of his current term in 2024, as Russian law does not allow a president to serve more than two consecutive terms


But according to the text he promulgated on Monday, this restriction does not apply to those who held the position of head of state before the entry into force of the amendments to the Constitution approved by referendum in 2020.


This is not the first time Putin has reached the two-term limit. In 2008, he took over as Prime Minister and left the Kremlin to his last head of government Dmitry Medvedev. After this four-year interlude, he was re-elected president in 2012.


The constitutional revision passed in the summer of 2020 also introduces into the constitution conservative principles dear to the president - faith in God, marriage for heterosexuals only, patriotic education - as well as a guaranteed lifetime immunity for Russian presidents


Opponent Alexei Navalny, who is now in prison, called the referendum a huge lie and the NGO Golos, which specializes in election monitoring, denounced an unprecedented  attack on the sovereignty of the Russian people.


Spread out over a week because of the coronavirus pandemic, the vote, the outcome of which was not in doubt, ended with a victory for the yes vote of 77.92% and a participation of 65%, according to official figures.

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