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Iran Press TV

Russia's Putin says may seek another term if constitutional changes approved

Iran Press TV

Sunday, 21 June 2020 3:03 PM

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he may run for a new term in 2024 if the people vote to approve the constitutional reforms that would allow him to do so.

"I do not rule out the possibility of running for office, if this (option) comes up in the constitution. We'll see," Russia's Interfax news agency cited Putin as saying on Sunday, adding, "I have not decided anything for myself yet."

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.

Putin has already approved the 68-page bill detailing nearly 400 changes to the Russian constitution, including an amendment that would enable the incumbent to potentially remain in office until 2036.

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

But 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.

Russians will vote on the proposed constitutional reforms in a nationwide election which would be held from June 25 to July 1. The changes are widely expected to be approved in the vote.

Putin further stated that if he does not run for president again, the hunt for a candidate to succeed him could become a distraction.

"If this doesn't happen, then in about two years - and I know this from personal experience - the normal rhythm of work of many parts of government will be replaced by a search for possible successors," Putin said.

"We must be working, not looking for successors," he added.

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

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