On Tuesday Russian Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law potentially extending his rule until 2036.
Putin is currently serving his fourth presidential term, which is set to end in 2024. Putin, who first came into power in 2000, turns 69 this year.
The new law formalizes the results of the 2020 referendum on amendments to Russia’s constitution. Russians strongly supported the changes to the constitution in a vote in July. Nearly 78 percent of voters approved the constitutional amendments.
The opposition has criticised the July vote claiming it has been tarnished by irregularities and that it was not independently monitored.
The new law limits Russian citizens to two presidential terms in their lifetime but the law specifically does not count terms served until it entered into force, meaning that Putin’s past four terms do not count which will allow him to serve two more terms should he decide to stand for re-election.
Critics have described his changes to the constitution as a ‘crude power grab’.
The new law also gives Putin and former president Dmitry Medvedev lifetime immunity from prosecution.
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