Russia's lower house of parliament votes to scrap presidential term limits
Iran Press TV
Tuesday, 10 March 2020 6:27 PM
Russia's lower chamber of parliament has approved a constitutional amendment that would allow incumbent President Vladimir Putin to potentially run for a new term in 2024 by suspending a law that limits presidents to two consecutive terms.
On Tuesday, 380 lawmakers at the State Duma voted for the amendment, 43 voted against it, and one abstained during the second reading of a bill proposing the reform.
The amendment was put forward by Valentina Tereshkova, a lawmaker from Russia's ruling party. She proposed either scrapping presidential term limits or amending the Russian constitution to let Putin potentially run again.
Explaining the move, Tereshkova said voters had told lawmakers in recent meetings that they wanted Putin to "stay nearby," whatever constitutional changes occurred.
A first reading had taken place in January.
Just ahead of the newer vote, President Putin said in a speech to the parliament that he agreed with only if it was approved by the Constitutional Court and was approved in a referendum.
"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.
He also said the move would have to be approved by the public in a referendum on the matter scheduled for next month. A series of constitutional amendments are going to the nationwide vote on April 22.
Putin earlier this year had called for a series of amendments that amounted to a major restructuring of legal powers between the presidency and the parliament.
Putin, who has ruled the country as a president or prime minister for more than 20 years, is required by the constitution to step down in 2024, when his second sequential and fourth presidential term ends.
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