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Putin backs amendment for unlimited presidential terms

MOSCOW

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday an amendment to the country’s constitution that would lift the restrictions for one person to be in presidential office more than two consecutive terms “possible”.

Speaking at Russia’s lower chamber of parliament, the State Duma, Putin said such a change is acceptable if the country’s constitutional court gives a green light to the amendment, and Russians confirm the change in a referendum.

The amendment, suggested by Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman cosmonaut in space and a member of the parliament, aims to change the rule, which prohibits for the same person to run for the presidential office more than two consecutive terms.

The number of previous presidential terms will not matter, according to the change; which means Putin will be able to take part in the presidential elections again.

While 380 deputies cast their votes for the amendment, 43 of them voted against, and one abstained in the second reading.

The draft bill goes to the third reading and then must be approved by the upper chamber of parliament, the Council of Federation before going to the referendum.

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