LIVE: Putin speaks on constitutional amendments at State Duma in Moscow
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday submitted to the State Duma a draft law on changing the Constitution, said the press secretary of the head of state Dmitry Peskov
According to Peskov, during the consideration of the document in the State Duma, the co-chairs of the working group on the preparation of proposals on amendments to the Constitution were appointed – member of the Federation Council Andrei Klishas, head of the Duma Committee on State Building and Legislation Pavel Krasheninnikov and Director of the Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law Taliya Khabrieva.
The document posted on the website of the State Duma proposes to amend 22 articles of the constitution.
A new authority is introduced into the Constitution – the State Council. It is formed by the President in order to ensure the coordinated functioning and interaction of government bodies, to determine the main directions of the domestic and foreign policy of the Russian Federation and the priority directions of the socio-economic development of the state. Details about the State Council should be established by a federal law, which does not yet exist.
Formation of government
The State Duma should have the right to approve the chairman of the government proposed by the president, and at the suggestion of the prime minister – deputy prime ministers and ministers, except for the heads of law enforcement agencies. Their leaders will be approved by the President after consultation with the Federation Council..
At the same time, the president retains the right to remove the prime minister and ministers from office..
Two presidential terms
The bill removes the word in a row from the article of the Constitution on the permissible number of presidential terms: One and the same person cannot hold the office of President of the Russian Federation for more than two terms, it says. This means that Putin himself, after the expiration of his mandate in 2024, will never be able to return to the presidency..
The Constitution proposes to fix the minimum wage and indexation of pensions. This amendment was included in Article 75 on the ruble and the Central Bank, although the very concept of the minimum wage and the right to a pension is established in the articles on human rights. The reason for this decision, obviously, is that the articles on human rights can only be changed by a special Constitutional Assembly..
Restrictions for deputies and senior officials. Crimean clause
As Putin promised, new restrictions are being introduced for State Duma deputies, members of the Federation Council (for whom the term senator is being introduced), ministers and judges. They will not have to have foreign citizenship or a residence permit or other document confirming the right to permanent residence of a citizen of the Russian Federation on the territory of a foreign state.
The requirements for the president are tougher – he can be a citizen who has lived in the Russian Federation for at least 25 years, who does not have and has not previously had citizenship of a foreign state or a residence permit. At the same time, a reservation is made that this requirement does not apply to citizens of the Russian Federation who previously had the citizenship of a state that was accepted or part of which was accepted into the Russian Federation. It is obvious that this means Crimea.
Priority of the Constitution
In addition, it is proposed to consolidate the priority of the main Russian law over international agreements. In order to protect state sovereignty, the draft law proposes to establish that decisions of interstate bodies adopted on the basis of the provisions of international treaties of the Russian Federation in the interpretation leading to their discrepancy with the Constitution of the Russian Federation are not subject to execution in the Russian Federation, the explanatory note says. Changes are made to article 79, not article 15, which refers to the priority of international treaties.
Powers of the Constitutional Court
According to the document, the Constitutional Court will check the laws adopted by the parliament for constitutionality. At the same time, the composition of the Constitutional Court will be reduced to only 11 judges. The president will appoint judges with the consent of the Federation Council. The same procedure will be provided for regional prosecutors..
The same bill assumes that the amendments, after they are adopted by the parliament, will be put to a nationwide vote. There is no such term in the legislation, we are not talking about a referendum. How and when this vote will be organized is unclear.
Putin announced the plan to change the Constitution on January 15. National vote, according to RBC, may take place on April 12.