Vladimir Putin says he’s considering running for a FIFTH term as president once constitutional changes are brought in
- Russia is due to vote on Vladimir Putin’s constitutional reform plans next week
- One amendment would allow Putin to seek two more six-year terms after 2024
- Putin told state television he would ‘not rule out the possibility’ of running again
Vladimir Putin says he will consider running for a fifth term as president of Russia if voters back his constitutional reform plans.
Putin would usually reach his limit of two consecutive terms in 2024, but Russia’s parliament has approved a plan to reset the counter to zero and allow him to run again.
Voters are expected to support the changes in a referendum next week, meaning the 67-year-old Putin could serve another two terms and stay in power until 2036.
Putin served two terms from 2000 to 2008, then spent four years as prime minister before returning to the presidency in 2012 and winning a fourth term in 2018.
‘I do not rule out the possibility of running for office, if this [option] comes up in the constitution. We’ll see,’ Putin said in an interview with state TV.
Vladimir Putin (pictured at his residence outside Moscow last week) says he will consider running for a fifth term as president of Russia if voters back his constitutional reform plans
Putin has previously said he supports term limits once the country becomes politically ‘mature’ but argued it needs ‘stability’ at present.
He has also compared himself to wartime US president Franklin D. Roosevelt, who broke with precedent by winning four consecutive elections.
However, he said in the interview broadcast on Sunday that ‘I have not decided anything for myself yet’.
Putin also suggested that the hunt for a candidate to succeed him could become a distraction if he does not run again.
‘If this doesn’t happen, then in about two years – and I know this from personal experience – the normal rhythm of work of many parts of government will be replaced by a search for possible successors,’ Interfax quoted him as saying.
‘We must be working, not looking for successors,’ he said.
The referendum will be held on July 1, after initially being scheduled for April 22 but then being postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Russia’s outbreak has stabilised since then and yesterday’s tally of 109 new deaths was the lowest since May 25.
Tanks are parked near the Kremlin on Saturday after a rehearsal of a military parade which was postponed from May because of the coronavirus pandemic
Opponents say the reforms are designed to allow Putin to keep power until 2036 and amount to a constitutional coup.
The Kremlin says they are needed to strengthen the role of parliament and improve social policy and public administration.
Putin was first named acting president on the last day of the 20th century, when his predecessor Boris Yeltsin unexpectedly resigned.
He won two terms in his own right in 2000 and 2004, before bowing to the two-term limit and moving to the prime minister’s office in 2008.
In 2012 he was allowed to run again – which he did successfully – because the two-term limit only applies to consecutive terms.
By that time, the presidential term had been extended from four years to six. Putin won a fourth term in 2018.
The proposal to reset Putin’s term count surfaced in March following years of speculation about how he might prolong his rule after 2024.
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