The Speaker of Russia’s Upper House of Parliament has proposed changing the Constitution to scrap a two-term limit on the Presidency. If passed, this would allow President Vladimir Putin to stay in office. Under the current laws, he is not allowed to run for a third consecutive term in office and must step down next year.
Sergei Mironov has also proposed extending the President’s mandate from four to seven years in office. The proposal comes as opposition members accuse the Kremlin of tightening its grip on power ahead of Presidential elections in March 2008. A new electoral law bars small parties from running.
Russian police have cracked down on opposition marches and rallies, arresting protestors and preventing others from taking part. Putin who enjoys majority voter support has said he will not seek a third term.