Russia passes bill allowing Putin to stay in power past 2024

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DARIA LITVINOVA  Associated Press MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian parliament approved a sweeping constitutional reform in the third and final reading Wednesday, a move that will allow President Vladimir Putin to stay in power for another 12 years after his current term ends in 2024. The Kremlin-controlled lower house, the State Duma, endorsed a set of amendments to the constitution and a provision resetting the term count for Putin after the revised constitution goes into force. It passed by a 383-0 vote with 43 abstentions, and was approved by the upper house, the Federation Council, several hours later. A nationwide vote on the proposed amendments is set for April 22. Kremlin critics condemned the move as a cynical manipulation and called for protests. Putin, a 67-year-old former KGB
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