Putin backs amend­ment to re­main in power

Pretoria News - - WORLD - |

MOSCOW: Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin yes­ter­day opened the door to con­sti­tu­tional changes that would al­low him to re­main in power un­til 2036, but said he favoured term lim­its once the coun­try be­came po­lit­i­cally “ma­ture”.

Putin, who in Jan­uary un­veiled a ma­jor shake-up of Rus­sian pol­i­tics and a con­sti­tu­tional over­haul, is re­quired by the con­sti­tu­tion to step down in 2024 when his sec­ond se­quen­tial and fourth pres­i­den­tial term ends. But ad­dress­ing the lower house of par­lia­ment, he gave his qual­i­fied bless­ing to a pro­posed change to the con­sti­tu­tion that would for­mally re­set his pres­i­den­tial term tally to zero.

“The pro­posal to re­move re­stric­tions for any per­son, in­clud­ing the in­cum­bent pres­i­dent… In prin­ci­ple, this option would be pos­si­ble, but on one con­di­tion – if the con­sti­tu­tional court gives an of­fi­cial rul­ing that such an amend­ment would not con­tra­dict the prin­ci­ples and main pro­vi­sions of the con­sti­tu­tion,” Putin said.

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