The RIA Novosti news agency says a top Russian lawmaker has confirmed that all of the country’s 85 regions have approved amendments to the constitution in a step that opens the possibility of President Vladimir Putin remaining in power for another 16 years.
“The Federation Council received the results of the vote in all 85 regional parliaments. All of them are positive. The Federation Council will consider this issue in plenary tomorrow,” RIA Novosti quoted Andrei Klishas, chairman of the upper house of parliament’s Committee on Constitutional Law, as saying on March 13.
The legislation sets Putin’s previous presidential term count back to zero because of the sweeping changes to the constitution.
Putin’s current term, his second consecutive six-year term, was slated to end in 2024. The previous rules forbade him from running for a third consecutive mandate, but that changes with the provisions of the amendments, meaning he can seek a fifth overall presidential term in 2024 and conceivably a sixth in 2030.
The constitutional changes now must be approved by at least two-thirds of regional parliaments and confirmed by the Constitutional Court.