Chechnya proposes legal changes to help extend Putin’s rule

May 10, 2018
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, takes part in a match of the Night Hockey League teams in the Bolshoy Ice Arena in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Thursday, May 10, 2018. (Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — Provincial legislators in the Russian region of Chechnya have proposed extending a constitutional limit of two consecutive presidential term — a move that could set the stage for President Vladimir Putin to stay on beyond 2024.

The 65-year-old Putin was inaugurated Monday for another six-year term that would put him on track to become Russia’s longest-serving leader since Josef Stalin.

Putin served two four-year presidential terms in 2000-2008 before shifting into the prime minister’s seat because of term limits. He reclaimed the presidency in 2012 after the term was extended to six years.

Thursday’s proposal to extend the limit to three consecutive terms needs the federal parliament’s approval to become law.

There was no immediate reaction from the Kremlin to the move first suggested by Chechnya’s regional leader Ramzan Kadyrov.