Vladimir Putin passes law that gives him 15 more years in office

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting with government officials via video conference at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Monday, March 22, 2021. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Newsflash! You won’t be seeing the back of Russian President Vladimir Putin anytime soon. He has signed a law that will allow him to run for the presidency two more times in his lifetime, potentially keeping him in office until 2036.

Putin has been Russia’s president for over two decades. He signed the new legislation on Monday which was described by critics as a “crude power grab”.

The law specifically does not count terms served until it entered into force, meaning that Putin’s past four terms (including the current term) do not count and he can still serve two more. Russians say that he has “zeroed out” his terms.

It also gives him and former president Dmitry Medvedev lifetime immunity from prosecution.

It was actually a whole rewriting of the country’s constitution through a “referendum-like process”. If Putin stays in power till 2036, then he will become the longest-serving Russian president.