By Fatiha Shabir
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed a law, paving the way for him to run for two more presidential terms, as well as being granted lifetime immunity from prosecution.
The new amendment also outlawed same-sex marriage stating that marriage was strictly a “union of a man and a woman” and that a belief in God is a core belief that every Russian should have.
Putin, who turns 69 this year, is currently serving his fourth presidential term, which is set to end in 2024 according to the previous constitution. The new legislation, could allow him to serve two more six year terms, potentially extending his rule until 2036. That is if he chooses to stand for and win re-election both times.
The new law formalizes the results of last year’s referendum on amendments to Russia’s constitution. The majority of Russians voted to approve Mr. Putin’s amendments to the country’s constitution last year, with 78% of votes supporting the change and just over 21% voting against it. The turnout was recorded as 68%.
He argued that resetting the term count was necessary to keep his lieutenants focused on their work instead of “darting their eyes in search for possible successors.”
If Putin is re-elected twice and serves to the end of the second term, he will beat Josef Stalin to become the longest-serving leader of Russia since Peter the Great, who was in power for 42 years.