A president will be able to serve more than two terms if he or she has the support of the people, Russia's Constitutional Court ruled Monday.
In a ruling published on its website on Monday, the court approved a number of proposed changes to Russia's constitution, including a provision which would hypothetically allow Russian President Vladimir Putin to serve two more terms, pending public approval in a national vote set to be held on April 22.
Under the constitution, a president of Russia only has the right to serve two consecutive terms in office before leaving the post to someone else. In January, President Putin proposed sweeping changes to the country's basic law, with the proposed amendments discussed extensively by the country's legislative organs. Among the proposals was an initiative to remove the word "consecutive" from the wording on term limits to limit the number to two terms only.
However, last week, Valentina Tereshkova, a veteran lawmaker from the ruling United Russia Party, proposed that changes to the constitution should reset Putin's term count. This, theoretically, would allow him to run for two more six-year terms. Putin himself told lawmakers that he was opposed to the idea of removing restrictions on the number of terms a president can serve, but left it to the Constitutional Court to evaluate Tereshkova's proposal.
Putin is expected to complete his second consecutive term in office in 2024.