Russia’s constitutional referendum was a landslide victory for President Vladimir Putin, which can effectively keep him in power for life.
TASS reported that 77 percent of Russian voters backed constitutional reforms while 22 percent voted against them, quoting the electoral commission. Turnout was 65 percent.
As a result, 46 of the 133 constitutional provisions will be amended. The reforms include a ban on same-sex marriage and priority of national laws over international laws and a minimum wage. However, the most important part is that they will reset President Putin’s term limits to zero in 2014 when his fourth term expires, allowing him to run for president again.
President Putin served two four-year terms before he was appointed as prime minister in 2008 because the constitution prohibited a third consecutive term. While serving as a prime minister, he amended the constitution to extend a term from four years to six. He was elected president again in 2012 and got a second term in 2018, serving four terms in total. He voiced the need for constitutional reforms in January as his second term nears the end, and they were approved by the Federal Assembly in March.
The reforms could keep him in power until 2036 when he will be 84 by allowing him to serve two more six-year terms, although his fourth term ends in 2024. Foreign news media such as CNN said Putin could be president for life calling him the tsar of the 21st century.
Youn-Jong Kim email@example.com