The speaker of Russia’s upper house of parliament has proposed abolishing a two-term limit on holding the presidency, a move that could allow President Vladimir Putin to stay in office.
“I suggest we consider whether it is not necessary, considering the many, the millions of appeals from our citizens, to revise this norm,” Sergei Mironov told a senate session in comments broadcast on television.
The new limit should be three terms in office, the senator said proposing the extension of the president’s mandate from the current four years to five or seven years in office.
Under Russia’s constitution the president is not allowed to run for the third consecutive term in office. Accordingly Putin must step down next year.
Putin, who came to power in 2000, has high popularity ratings and there have been calls from several local officials in Russia for him to stay on for a third term.
Russian Presidential elections are scheduled for March 2, 2008.