Let’s look forward to the year 2042, when Vladimir Putin will finally retire after 43 years holding the strings of power in Russia. What a time that will be!
Putin took the latest step toward that date on Sunday, when he was elected for a new six-year term as Russian president.
Frisky fans of modern Russian history know that the former KGB agent served two four-year terms as president from 2000 to 2008. Term limits ended his run, but he simply became prime minister while his hand-picked successor, Dmitry Medvedev, kept the big seat warm for four years.
Russian law says you can’t serve more than two terms in a row, not that you can’t come back for more later. So to nobody’s suprise, this year Medvedev stepped aside and Vladimir Putin ran again.
Here’s the kicker: in 2008, Medvedev also hustled through a change to the Russian constitution that raised the presidential term from four to six years, starting after his own term.
So now Vladimir Putin can rule for 12 straight years instead of just eight. Assuming he stays in power until 2024, he will have been running the country for 25 years. (He took over from Boris Yeltsin as acting president in 1999 before being elected in 2000.)
Putin will be a mere 71 years old in 2024, so he could serve another six-year term as PM, come back at age 77 for an additional 12 years as president, and finally retire at age 89 after 43 years on the throne. Er, in office.
Assuming he stays fit. But he’s on top of that, too.