- Putin, who will be 83 in 2036, has been at the helm of Russia’s Governance since 2000.
- On Tuesday, the nation’s opposition announced protests under the slogan “Russia without Putin.“
- Other constitutional changes include a reference to God, a definition of marriage, and a refusal to cede disputed territories.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has formally signed off on new constitutional amendments which would allow for him to remain in the Kremlin until 2036. The amendments repeal the current term limits that bar a president from running for a third consecutive six-year term. Putin’s second consecutive term, and fourth overall, comes to an end in 2024.
Putin, who will be 83 in 2036, has been at the helm of Russia’s Governance since 2000, having held the post of President of the Federation for four terms. But between 2008 and 2012, he held the post of Prime Minister, in a move that was aimed at avoiding violation of the nation’s laws, which allowed him only two consecutive terms. He essentially traded jobs with Dmitri Medvedev, a mere political protégé of his.
Vladimir Putin signed the law on constitutional amendments after the Russian Federation Council, which functions as a Senate, gave the constitutional amendments the green light today during an extraordinary plenary session. On Wednesday, the proposed amendments had been passed, definitively, in the lower chamber of the Russian Parliament, the Duma.
The law will now be sent to the Constitutional Court, which has seven days to rule on it. Once the process is completed, the law shall be enacted by Vladimir Putin who is keen on having a national vote on the issue held on the 22nd of April.
On Tuesday, the nation’s opposition announced protests under the slogan “Russia without Putin“ that are expected to take place within the next ten days. The opposition, including its leader, Alexeï Navalny, vigorously denounced the constitutional review, stating that it was a move by the President to remain in power indefinitely.
Announced in January by the President, this is the first revision of the Constitution since its adoption in 1993, and is considered a way to prepare for post-2024, the date on which Putin’s second presidential term ends.
Some of the other proposals put forward by Vladimir Putin include a reference to God, a definition of marriage to that of the union between a man and a woman, and the prohibition on ceding parts of Russian territory to foreign states. The latter move prevents any negotiations on Crimea, annexed from Ukraine, and on the Kuril Islands, taken by the Soviet Union after World War II, and disputed by Japan ever since. Furthermore, it would criminalize any independentist proposal or suggestion.
The proposal is seen as another concession to the conservatism of the Russian Orthodox Church. In Russia, homosexuality was criminalized until 1993, and classified as a mental illness until 1999. In 2013, a law banned the spread of “gay propaganda” among young people. The Russian government has also been the target of numerous complaints about the way it treats LGBT+ people in its country. Under the gay propaganda law, pride marches are prohibited, and several activists have been arrested.