Russian President Vladimir Putin has postponed a referendum on constitutional changes that could allow him to stay in power until 2036, citing coronavirus concerns.
He said the vote, which was scheduled for April 22, would be held “at a later date,” the BBC reported.
Putin’s presidential term, his last under the current rules, is supposed to end in 2024.
But if the constitutional changes are eventually approved, it would reset Putin’s presidential term count back to zero, meaning he could stand in the next two elections. If Putin does run for president in the 2024 and 2030 elections, he could be in charge longer than any ruler since Peter the Great, surpassing even Joseph Stalin.
By the time of the 2036 election, Putin would be 83. The parliament has already approved the constitutional change.