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Iran Press TV

Russia's Putin approves constitutional changes, asks court for opinion

Iran Press TV

Sunday, 15 March 2020 9:52 AM

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed off on legislation containing constitutional reforms, including an amendment that would enable the incumbent to potentially remain in office until 2036.

The Kremlin said in a statement on Saturday that President Putin had approved the 68-page bill detailing nearly 400 changes to the Russian constitution.

The constitutional reforms, put forward by Putin, allow the Russian president to potentially seek re-election in 2024 for two additional six-year terms. It also expands the parliament's powers and bans senior officials from having a residence permit in other countries, among other stipulations.

Both houses of the Russian parliament as well as regional parliaments had already approved the legislation.

But President Putin has said that in order for the amendments to go through, Russia's constitutional court will have to offer its approval and the Russian people will have to give their consent in a referendum, too.

The Kremlin said the constitutional court had been asked to rule on the reforms within the next seven days. And the referendum is also slated for April 22.

The 67-year-old president submitted the bill to the Duma in late January and announced a major shake-up of Russian politics, which the Kremlin described as a redistribution of power from the presidency to the parliament.

Russia's current constitution, in effect since 1993, allows a president to serve two consecutive terms, obliging Putin to leave office in 2024.

Putin has not yet announced whether he will run again in 2024, but he has said he does not favor the Soviet-era practice of having leaders for life.

Putin has ruled the country as a president or prime minister for more than 20 years.

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