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Vladimir Putin on Monday signed the law allowing him to stand for the next two presidential elections. The Russian president should in theory have stepped down at the end of his current term, but a constitutional reform approved by referendum last year paved the way for his stay in power.
It’s official, Vladimir Poutine will be able to run for the next two presidential elections in Russia. The 68-year-old president signed the law on Monday April 5 allowing him to run for two new presidential terms, paving the way for his retention in the Kremlin until 2036.
This law, published on the official Russian portal, was definitively adopted by Parliament in March, after a constitutional referendum organized in the summer of 2020.
Vladimir Putin, in charge 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 post 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 that Vladimir Putin has reached the two-term limit. In 2008, he took the post of 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 voted in the summer of 2020 also introduces into the Constitution conservative principles dear to the president – faith in God, marriage reserved for heterosexuals, patriotic education – as well as lifetime immunity guaranteed to Russian presidents.
The opponent Alexeï Navalny, now imprisoned, had qualified this referendum as a “huge lie” and the NGO Golos, specializing in the observation of the elections, denounced an “unprecedented” attack on the sovereignty of the Russian people.
Spread over a week because of the coronavirus pandemic, the vote, the outcome of which was no doubt, ended with a victory of the “yes” to 77.92% and a participation of 65%, according to official figures.