DARIA LITVINOVA and VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian lawmakers on Thursday quickly gave preliminary approval to a slew of constitutional changes widely seen as an attempt by President Vladimir Putin to remain in charge after his current term ends in 2024.
Kremlin critics have described the amendments as an attempt by Putin to secure his rule over Russia for life, but still it remains unclear how exactly the changes allow him to do that.
Putin also didn't explain why he hastily moved to amend the constitution now, four years before the end of his term. That drew suggestions it could herald a plan to call an early parliamentary or presidential election.
Putin's amendments give parliament the right to appoint Cabinet members, but they are focused primarily at