Russian court approves law that could extend Putin’s reign

International

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to Education Minister Sergei Kravtsov during their meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, March 12, 2020. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s Constitutional Court on Monday approved a law on constitutional amendments that could allow Vladimir Putin to remain in power for another 16 years.

The law still must be approved in a national referendum that has been scheduled for April 22. The court’s approval came just two days after Putin signed the law.

Under current law, Putin wouldn’t be able to run for president again in 2024 because of term limits, but the new measure would reset his term count, allowing him to run for two more six-year terms. He has been in power since 2000.

Other constitutional changes further strengthen the presidency and emphasize the priority of Russian law over international norms — a provision reflecting the Kremlin’s irritation with the European Court of Human Rights and other international bodies that have often issued verdicts against Russia.

The changes also outlaw same-sex marriage and mention “a belief in God” as one of Russia’s traditional values.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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