Russian president Vladimir Putin plans to step down next year due to health concerns. Speculations are rife that Putin has begun developing symptoms of Parkinson’s disease but the president has yet to address the speculations.

Rumors are swirling around that Putin may be suffering from Parkinson’s as he has been exhibiting symptoms of the disease. A recent footage shows the Russian president in agony as he constantly shifts his legs. Another footage also shows his fingers twitching as he holds a cup allegedly containing a cocktail of painkillers. In a separate footage, he looks to be in pain as he clutches the armrest of his chair.

Parkinson’s disease affects the brain and causes shaking and stiffness. Its symptoms include tremor, slowed movement, rigid muscles, speech and writing changes, and loss of automatic movements.

Political scientist Valery Solovei said Putin’s girlfriend, Alina Kabaeva, and his two daughters, Maria Vorontsova and Katerina Tikhonova, are pushing him to step down. “There is a family, it has a great influence on him,” said Solovei. “He intends to make public his handover plans in January.”

Vladimir Putin’s imminent departure comes as Russian lawmakers are considering his proposed legislation that would grant him additional powers and grant former presidents lifetime immunity from criminal prosecution. Currently, ex-presidents are only protected for actions taken while they are in office. The special provisions provided by the bill have prompted talks that Putin might be preparing for his retirement.

Putin has served as president of Russia for more than 20 years and recently won a referendum on changing the term limits for Russian leaders.  Under the bill, Putin’s term limits could be reset to allow him to potentially run twice more for president and remain in office until 2036.

On Saturday, he sponsored another legislation entitling a former president to a lifetime seat as a senator in Russia’s Federation council, which also comes with immunity from prosecution.

Amid rumors about his retirement, some reports suggest that Putin will appoint a new prime minister who will be groomed to become his eventual successor but Vladimir Putin’s staff has denied the claims.

Vladimir Putin Presidente ruso Vladimir Putin, reunion en Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi, October 24, 2014. Reuters/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin