Putin signs law that allows him to serve two more terms

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed a law allowing him to potentially hold onto power until 2036, a move that formalizes constitutional changes endorsed in last year’s popular vote.

The July 1 constitutional vote included a provision that reset Putin’s previous terms, allowing him to run for president two more times. The change was rubber-stamped by the Kremlin-controlled legislature and the relevant law signed by Putin was posted Monday on an official portal of legal information.

The 68-year-old Russian president, who has been in power for more than two decades — longer than any other Kremlin leader since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin — said he would decide later whether to run again in 2024 when his current six-year term ends.

He has argued that resetting the term count was necessary to keep his lieutenants from “darting their eyes in search for possible successors” instead of normal work.”

The constitutional amendments also emphasized the priority of Russian law over international norms, outlawed same-sex marriages and mentioned “a belief in God” as a core value. Russian lawmakers have methodically modified the national legislation, approving the relevant laws.

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