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The upper house of Russia's Parliament waited just a few hours before passing constitutional reforms that could keep Putin in office until 2036

Source: Meduza

The Federation Council (the upper house of Russia’s Parliament) adopted sweeping constitutional reform legislation on Wednesday, voting just a few hours after the State Duma passed the momentous draft law.

Vladimir Putin first proposed a constitutional overhaul in his annual state-of-the-nation speech this January. The Putin administration’s original draft law, submitted to lawmakers on January 23, would have redistributed several presidential powers to the Parliament, but subsequent revisions largely maintained the executive branch’s predominance.

Hours before the State Duma adopted the legislation’s second reading, United Russia deputy Valentina Tereshkova submitted a last-minute amendment to “zero out” the incumbent president’s term clock, allowing him to run for two more terms, potentially extending Putin’s presidency to 2036. Putin then made a rare and nearly immediate visit to the Duma, where he gave a speech endorsing Tereshkova’s idea, so long as Russia’s Constitutional Court consents.

With the Federation Council’s adoption, the constitutional reforms now require only the approval of Russia’s regional parliaments before the amendments are put to a nationwide vote on April 22.

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