Constitutional Amendment for a Third Presidential Term?

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In Russia. Might Putin’s supporters pass a constitutional amendment to keep him in office for another term?

Asked by a reporter in Finland on Aug. 2 whether he would like to continue as president after 2008, Putin replied, “Maybe I would have liked to, but the Constitution does not allow it.”

“I’m of the opinion,” Putin added, “that the most important issue in Russia now is stability, and the only way to achieve this is by respecting the Constitution.”

Spoken like a true politician.

What happened next and what are analysts saying about it?

In what analysts called a direct reaction to Putin’s remarks, Primorye legislator Adam Imadayev on Aug. 9 proposed that regional lawmakers introduce a bill that would scrap Part 3 of Article 81 of the Constitution — the provision that limits a president to two consecutive terms.

St. Petersburg legislator Igor Rimmer then proposed on Friday that city lawmakers consider an amendment that would allow a president to serve three consecutive terms. Rimmer argued that the amendment would not be a step back for democracy and would allow Putin to carry on with his reforms.

The Moscow Times: Signs of a 3rd Term Campaign