Putin could again contest presidential polls beyond 2024

Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin indicated that he could run for the post again after 2024, when his term ends if the people and Constitutional Court approves a proposed “reset to zero” rule for his stint already in power, reports said.

However, Putin, who has been President – and Prime Minister for one spell – since 2000, has ruled out scrapping the current rule that a President can serve no more than two consecutive terms.

The amendments he cited in a televised speech were put forward by Duma deputy Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, and have been passed by it, the BBC reported.

In January this year, Putin had suggested some amendments to the Constitution, including an unprecedented transfer of some powers from the presidency to parliament.

These, and the “reset” option, will be subject to a “public vote” on April 22.

The “reset to zero” proposal would mean “removing the restriction for any person, any citizen, including the current president, and allowing them to take part in elections in the future, naturally in open and competitive elections”, Putin said in his speech, and it would come in place if citizens support it and the Constitutional Court upholds it.

In his speech, he said “a strong presidency is absolutely essential”, but he added that the Duma “should get wider powers”.

On the changes, he said that they were important in a world in the throes of fundamental change, including new challenges such as digital technology and coronavirus.

Russia “needs a guarantee that the people in power can be changed regularly”, and “elections must be open and competitive”, he said, but ruled out a Western-style parliamentary system, noting that in some European countries, governments cannot be formed for years.

Image courtesy of IANS

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