Russian lawmakers OK Putin’s changes expected to keep him in power

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a new cabinet meeting in Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. (Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

(AP) – Russian lawmakers have given preliminary approval to a slew of constitutional changes seen as an attempt by President Vladimir Putin to remain in charge after his current term ends in 2024.

It remains unclear, however, how exactly the measures will allow him to do that.

Putin also didn’t explain why he hastily moved to amend the constitution now, four years before the end of his term. That drew suggestions that it could herald a plan to call early parliamentary or presidential elections.

Russian opposition figures have denounced the proposed changes as Putin’s attempt to stay in power indefinitely.

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