Putin sends draft law on constitutional amendments to State Duma

Russian President Vladimir Putin has introduced a draft law on amendments to the Russian Constitution to the State Duma, Interfax reported. According to First Deputy Duma Speaker Ivan Melnikov, the State Duma will consider the presidential bill at a plenary session on January 23.

Earlier, a working group created to prepare amendments to the Constitution sent President Vladimir Putin a letter with preliminary amendments. The authors of the letter propose to amend 14 articles of the Constitution in the chapters “Federal Structure”, “President of the Russian Federation”, “Federal Assembly”, “Government of the Russian Federation”, “Judicial Power and Prosecutor’s Office” and “Local Government”.

The working group noted that one of the key issues is the enshrinement of the role and status of the State Council in the Constitution, which Vladimir Putin proposed to turn from a consultative body into a constitutional one. Now the State Council is not mentioned in the Constitution. In their opinion, it is necessary to determine how the State Council will be formed and interact with other authorities.

Putin has formulated amendments to the Constitution in his address to the Federal Assembly. In particular, he proposed that the Constitution have priority over international legislation and agreements. He also proposed amendments concerning the redistribution of powers among the branches of government and concerning restrictions for public officials and judges.

The President proposed that the amendments be put to a vote in one package before their adoption.

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