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Putin says no major changes to Russian constitution

[JURIST] In a televised interview Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website] stated he foresaw no major changes to the Russian Constitution [English translation] while he was in office. Putin's statement comes after proposed legislation [JURIST news report] that would have allowed Putin to serve as president after his second term concludes in 2008, if he were to step down before the conclusion of his current term and the 2008 election were declared invalid. Without the proposed legislation or a constitutional amendment, Putin is constitutionally barred from seeking a third term. Last year, Putin expressed his reluctance in amending the constitution [JURIST report] in order to restructure the Russian government. When asked Tuesday if he would call for a national referendum on the issue, Putin suggested that he would not, because any radical changes to the constitution would be inconsistent with the "long-term development" of the country. Putin's answer was a part of an almost three-hour interview [Russian transcript], in which he answered questions posed by pre-selected "representatives of the people." AP has more. MosNews has local coverage.

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