Week-ending 26 March 2021
On 24 March 2021 the State Duma approved in its third and final reading a bill making it possible for President Putin to stand for election as president in both 2024 and 2030. Under current law, Vladimir Putin would not be able to stand for election again in 2024 since this would be a third consecutive term in office. The bill brings the law into line with constitutional amendments adopted in March 2020 by the State Duma.
RFE/RL, 24 March 2021: The Russian parliament’s lower chamber, the State Duma, has approved the third and final reading of a bill aligning election laws with recent changes to the constitution that among other things allow for the possibility of President Vladimir Putin to stay in power until 2036. The bill, approved on March 24, still requires the approval of parliament’s upper chamber, the Federation Council, as well as Putin’s signature. The constitutional amendments initiated in January 2020 by the 68-year-old Putin, who has been running the country as prime minister or president since late-1999, were approved in March 2020 by the State Duma. One clause in the amendments reset Putin’s term-limit clock to zero, allowing him to seek reelection when his current term expires in 2024, and again in 2030 if he wishes. Under the current election laws, the president is forbidden from seeking a third consecutive six-year term.