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Putin takes next step to staying in power till 2036

President Vladimir Putin has formally asked Russia’s constitutional court if it is legal for him to change the constitution, the Kremlin said on Saturday, a move that could permit him remain in power until 2036.

In January, Putin unveiled a major shake-up of Russian politics and a constitutional overhaul, which the Kremlin billed as a redistribution of power from the presidency to parliament. But Putin, 67, who has dominated Russia’s political landscape for two decades as either president or prime minister, made a dramatic appearance in parliament on 10 March to back a new amendment that would allow him to ignore a current constitutional ban on him running again in 2024.

Putin’s intervention raised the prospect of his serving another two six-year consecutive terms after 2024, though the Kremlin points out that Putin has not yet said whether he will run again in 2024.

The Kremlin said in a statement that Putin had signed off on the constitutional changes after they were approved by both houses of the country’s parliament and by regional parliaments.

The constitutional court must now rule whether the changes are legal before a planned nationwide vote on the shake-up due on 22 April.

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