MOSCOW -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has submitted a package of proposed constitutional amendments to parliament, after announcing last week a surprise overhaul of the country's political system.
Putin wants to remove the word 'consecutive' in the current constitution's stipulation that the president cannot serve 'more than two consecutive terms,' according to the bill posted on the website of the Kremlin-controlled lower house, the State Duma, on January 20.
The Russian leader had suggested the change among a raft of constitutional reforms during his state-of-the-nation address on January 15, prompting speculation that the shakeup could help keep the 67-year-old former KGB officer in power beyond the end of his fourth presidential term in 2024.
The amendments also include a proposal to give the constitution a clear priority over international law and the transfer of some power away from the presidency to the prime minister and the State Council.
A working group has been formed by Putin to study the proposed changes, and Putin has promised a popular vote on the amendments.
Putin's speech was followed by the resignation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who was replaced the next day by Mikhail Mishustin, the little-known head of Russia's tax service.
With reporting by dpa, AP, and AFP
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