Medvedev submits bill on extending presidential term

November 12th, 2008 - 12:29 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Nov 11 (DPA) Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has submitted a bill to parliament on extending the presidential term from four to six years, a Kremlin spokeswoman said Tuesday.Medvedev announced he was seeking the constitutional amendment in his state-of-the-nation address last week.

His administration can easily muster the two-thirds majority in parliament needed to enact the change after the dominant pro-Kremlin party headed by his predecessor Vladimir Putin swept the polls in last years’ vote.

But legal experts say the term extensions would only apply to future presidents.

The president “has submitted to the State Duma (the lower house of parliament) a bill on amendments to the constitution of the Russian Federation on changes to the term of office of the president of the Russian Federation”, the Kremlin said in a statement posted on its website.

Russian analysts said Medvedev was only paving the way for 12 more years of Putin in the Kremlin. As prime minister he has not ruled out serving for another term.

The ex-Kremlin leader was criticised for centralised power during his eight years, by for example replacing regional gubernatorial elections with presidential appointments.

Medvedev said the proposed term extension and other changes would allow the government to carry through its reforms more effectively.

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