The Russian President Vladimir Putin is currently required by the constitution to step down in 2024 when his second sequential and fourth presidential term ends.
But the 450-seat State Duma, the lower house of parliament, on Wednesday voted by 383 in favor of the change of the Constitution. An amendment proposed by lawmaker and former cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova would formally reset Putin’s presidential term tally to zero. The changes backed by the State Duma will now be reviewed by Russia’s upper house of parliament. Russians are scheduled to vote on the proposed amendment on April 22 in a nationwide constitutional referendum. If it is backed in the nationwide vote, Putin would have the option to run again for president in 2024. He could potentially stay in office for another two back-to-back six-year terms until 2036 at which point he would be 83.
The Russian State Duma
In his appeal to parliament, Putin also pointed to other countries that have no restrictions on presidential terms. Opposition activists have said they plan to organize protests as early as Friday against the move to allow Putin to stay on. However an order from Moscow’s government has banned public gatherings of more than 5,000 people until April 10 due to coronavirus-related risks.