Russia passes bill allowing Putin to stay in power past 2024

Russia passes bill allowing Putin to stay in power past 2024
Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while speaking during a session prior to voting for constitutional amendments at the State Duma, the Lower House of the Russian Parliament in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, March 10, 2020. The Russian parliament has approved a sweeping constitutional reform that will allow Putin to stay in power for another 12 years after his current term ends in 2024. (Source: AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin/AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian lawmakers have approved sweeping constitutional reforms that would allow President Vladimir Putin to stay in power until 2036.

The measures must still be approved by the country’s Constitutional Court and by a nationwide vote on April 22 before they come into force.

Putin’s critics called for protests, condemning the move as a way to keep him in office after he hits his term limit in 2024.

The 67-year-old former KGB officer has ruled Russia for more than two decades, and if he wins and completes two more terms, it would make him the ruler of Russia for 36 years. That’s longer than any other leader in its modern history.

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