March 10 (UPI) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday backed legislation that would change the country’s presidential term limit, allowing him to run for an additional two terms.
Former cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova proposed the constitutional amendment that would reset Russia’s current term limits, which limit presidents to two consecutive six-year terms.
The amendment would reset Putin’s current count of two terms back to zero, allowing him to run for re-election.
Putin spoke before lawmakers at the State Duma, the lower house of the Federal Assembly, saying he said he would not support a complete removal of presidential term limits, which is included in Tereshkova’s proposal but supported the idea of resetting the term limit numbers.
“I have no doubt that the day will come when the supreme presidential power will not be so personified, if I may say so, that it will not be connected to a certain individual,” he said. “But this is exactly how it was in our previous history and we must take this into account.”
Lawmakers voted to pass the legislation, which will also be placed on a nationwide constitutional referendum for Russian voters on April 22.
Putin said the referendum would also be important to passing the legislation but said that it is important for a president to ensure the country’s evolutionary development and that it is important for the country to not change the way the government operates too quickly.
“We have had enough revolutions,” he said.