Russia passes bill allowing Putin stay in power past 2024

FILE PHOTO_ Vladimir Putin Photo Credit_ AP Images AP_703971202432_209737

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian parliament approved a sweeping constitutional reform in the third and final reading that will allow President Vladimir Putin to stay in power for another 12 years after his current term ends in 2024.

The Kremlin-controlled lower house, the State Duma, endorsed a set of amendments to the constitution and a provision resetting the term count for Putin after the revised constitution goes into force by a 383-0 vote with 43 abstentions.

A nationwide vote on the proposed amendments is set for April 22.

Putin, a 67-year-old former KGB officer, has ruled Russia for more than 20 years.

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