Putin Backs Ploy To Keep Him In Power Until 2036

The New York Times reports:

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia said on Tuesday that he would support legislation that would allow him to run for a fifth term as president in 2024.

The proposal, unexpectedly floated by a lawmaker at a session of Russia’s lower house of Parliament on Tuesday, would allow Mr. Putin — who is 67 years old and was first elected president in 2000 — to remain in power until at least 2036.

After lawmakers voiced support for the idea, Mr. Putin arrived in person at the State Duma to say he agreed with it, in what appeared to be a tightly choreographed course of events. Mr. Putin said he believed he should have the right to run again for the sake of Russia’s stability, even though future presidents should continue to be bound by a two-term limit.

The Guardian reports:

The Russian president, who has ruled since the turn of the century, gave his support to the amendment put forward by Valentina Tereshkova, an MP who, as a Soviet cosmonaut, became the first woman to fly to space.

Tereshkova proposed either scrapping presidential term limits or amending the Russian constitution to let Putin run again. A series of constitutional amendments are going to a nationwide vote on 22 April.

In an address to lawmakers in the Kremlin-controlled State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, Putin spoke against scrapping term limits, but backed the idea of revising the ceiling. The current law limits presidents to two consecutive terms. Putin’s current six-year term expires in 2024.