Putin Signs New Law That Allows Him To Stay In Power Until 2036
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a new law that could allow him to stay in power until 2036.
He is currently serving his fourth presidential term, having taken up the position in 2000.
On Monday, April 5, Putin signed new legislation that allows him to run in a further two elections after his current presidency ends in 2024.
As it stands, Putin has been in power longer than any other Kremlin leader since Joseph Stalin, the Soviet dictator. It is not clear whether he will run for office again.
In his arguments for amending the constitution, Putin said it was a necessary step to ensure government officials remained focused on their work, as opposed to ‘darting their eyes in search for possible successors’, Aljazeera reports.
However, his opposition said the law would allow Putin to remain president ‘for life’. One of his critics, politician Yevgeny Roizman, voiced his concerns about the new law on Twitter.
‘Putin today signed a law allowing him to be president twice more. Let the law be adopted, allowing the president to live forever. They really think that if they managed to deceive human laws, then they will be able to deceive the laws of nature,’ Roizman said in a tweet.
The new law still limits Russian presidents to two terms, but it does not cover terms already served before it is entered into force. This means Putin’s previous four terms do not count and he can run again, The Guardian reports.
Russia is currently facing scrutiny over its detainment of Alexei Navalny, one of Putin’s most vocal critics.
The blogger, who has millions of followers on social media, previously accused the president of ‘sucking the blood out of Russia’ and running a party full of ‘crooks and thieves’.
Navalny was arrested in January upon returning to Moscow from Germany. He is currently in prison serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence for violating the terms of his probation.
Earlier today, April 6, Navalny’s lawyers told the BBC he has been transferred to a medical unit after exhibiting symptoms of a respiratory illness.
His lawyers said Navalny was ‘in a bad way’ and had lost a lot of weight – approximately 8kg – since he declared a hunger strike last week.
‘He is completely in the power of the prison service. Every day there are very serious deteriorations,’ one of his lawyers, Olga Mikhailova, said.
She added: ‘It’s very difficult to understand why this is happening. The prison service is not reacting to a single complaint of ours… There’s been complete silence from them in the month since his health got worse.’
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