İrem UZUN -TDO- President Vladimir Putin has said he would support a constitutional amendment to reset his presidential term limit as long as the Constitutional Court approves it, he said Tuesday in a historic speech after the ruling United Russia party backed a proposal that could allow him to stay in power until 2036.

Lawmaker Valentina Tereshkova made the proposal during a fast-moving State Duma session where lawmakers are due to vote on Putin’s sweeping constitutional amendments that he proposed in January. Putin is currently required by the Constitution to step down in 2024 when his fourth presidential term ends. “I propose either to lift presidential term limits or allow the current president to be elected as head of state, like any other citizen, after the amended Constitution enters into force,” Tereshkova, the first woman in space and a member of United Russia, said. Putin backed the idea and said “In principle, this option would be possible, but on one condition – if the constitutional court gives an official ruling that such an amendment would not contradict the principles and main provisions of the constitution”. He also said the move would have to be approved by the public in a referendum next month.

Putin, 67, has been in power for more than 20 years and is Russia's longest-serving leader since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. After serving two presidential terms in 2000-2008, he shifted to the Russian prime minister's office while protege Dmitry Medvedev served as a placeholder president. After the length of a presidential term was extended to six years under Medvedev, Putin reclaimed the presidency in 2012 and won another term in 2018.

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