Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law that will allow him to run for the presidency twice more, potentially keeping him in office until 2036.
The president signed the legislation on Monday, ending a year-long process to “reset” his presidential terms by rewriting the constitution through a referendum-like process that his critics have called a crude power grab, the Guardian reported
It noted that should he stay in power until 2036, he would be the longest-running leader of Russia since the Russian Empire, surpassing the tenure of dictator Joseph Stalin, who remained in power over the Soviet Union for 29 years
Mr Putin has been Russia’s most powerful politician since he assumed the presidency in 2000, after the resignation of his predecessor, Boris Yeltsin.
The law allows him to run for two more six-year terms once his current tenure ends in 2024.
Last year, the country’s parliament made an array of constitutional amendments that were subsequently backed in a public vote that could allow Mr Putin, 68, to potentially remain in power until the age of 83.
He is currently serving his second consecutive term as president and his fourth in total.
He was elected to office in 2000, 2004, 2012 and 2018, with a stint as Russian prime minister between 2008 and 2012 due to term limits at the time.
The law signed by Mr Putin limits any future president to two terms in office, but essentially serves as “reset” and does not apply to his four previous terms.
It also prevents anyone who has held foreign citizenship from running for Russia’s highest office.