Russia’s upper house approves presidential, parliamentary termsNovember 26th, 2008 - 5:26 pm ICT by IANS
Moscow, Nov 26 (RIA Novosti) Russia’s upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, has approved amendments to the constitution extending the presidential term from four to six years and the lower house term from four to five years. The amendments were voted 144-1 with 126 votes needed for approval.
President Dmitry Medvedev’s proposal, which he made during his first state of the nation address Nov 5, triggered speculation that the extension of the current four-year parliamentary and presidential terms, which would apply to the next head of state and legislature, was a pretext for the return to office of his predecessor, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Lower house or State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov earlier dismissed speculation that the amendments were paving the way for early presidential and parliamentary elections. “Everyone must work to the end of his term,” he said.
The constitutional amendments should be approved by at least two-thirds of regional legislatures. After that, the Federation Council will hold another session to endorse their decision.
The amendments will come into force once they have been signed by the president and published in a government newspaper.
The upper house also approved Wednesday constitutional amendments introducing annual reports to parliament by the government.
The State Duma will be authorized to consider governmental reports on its activity and demand answers to lawmakers’ questions.
Tags: amendments to the constitution, constitutional amendments, federation council, governmental reports, parliamentary terms, ria novosti russia, state duma, state of the nation address, upper house of parliament, vladimir putin