Russian senators pass Putin’s constitutional reforms, including term extension

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a press conference in Berlin. (File Photo: Reuters)

Russian senators on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved amendments to the constitution submitted by President Vladimir Putin, including the option for him to run for two more terms in the Kremlin.

The constitutional reforms were backed by 160 senators in the upper house Federation Council, with one voting against and three abstaining.

They must now be approved by two-thirds of Russian regional parliaments before being put to a public vote on April 22.

Read more: Russian lawmakers back Putin’s package of constitutional amendments

In a speech ahead of the Federation Council’s vote, speaker Valentina Matviyenko called the passing of the amendments “one of the most important issues in (Russia’s) modern history.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses lawmakers debating on the second reading of the constitutional reform bill during a session of the State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, in Moscow on March 10, 2020. (AFP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses lawmakers debating on the second reading of the constitutional reform bill during a session of the State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, in Moscow on March 10, 2020. (AFP)

She hailed an amendment introduced on Tuesday that would give Putin the chance to run again when his current term ends in 2024, by effectively resetting the clock on previous presidential terms.

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Putin “must have the right to participate in new competitive elections”, she said.

“He raised Russia from its knees” and “is considered one of the world’s great leaders,” she said.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:05 - GMT 07:05
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