| Last updated
Vladimir Putin has won a referendum that could allow him to stay in power until 2036, by which time he will be 84.
The news was announced in Russia as a 'preliminary' result five hours before voting closed, with the national vote on the proposed amendment to the constitution having started on 25 June.
It will mean that instead of the two consecutive six year terms that were previously the maximum, Putin's presidential term count will be reset to zero - allowing him to potentially serve two more terms, which would take us to 2036.
Putin, a former KGB agent, said back when the referendum was announced that he believes that it's not the time to change power in Russia, in order to secure the country's 'evolutionary development'.
He said: "We have had enough revolutions.
"I have no doubt that the day will come when the supreme, presidential power in Russia will not be so personified, if I may say so, that it will not be connected to a certain individual.
"But this is exactly how it was in our previous history, and we must take this into account."
In January, Putin made changes within his inner circle. He appointed a new prime minister and also announced the proposed reform that he won today. The referendum was supposed to be held in April, but was pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He made the case for the changes, speaking about patriotism and a promise of securing Russia's future.
Putin announced: "We are not just going to vote on amendments that have been clearly formulated as legal norms.
"We are going to vote for the country where we want to live, with cutting-edge education and healthcare, a reliable system of social protection and an effective government accountable to the people... which we would like to pass on to our children and grandchildren."
The ballot asked for a yes or no answer to 206 amendments, the vote to reset Putin's term limits was just one of them.
The official campaign focused on other issues, including a ban on gay marriage, a guarantee on indexation of pensions, as well as other benefits.
CNN states that the amendments were 'designed to appeal to conservative voters'.
Putin has now been in power longer than any other Russian or Soviet leader since Josef Stalin, who was leader from 1924 until 1953, when he died.
Featured Image Credit: PA
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read