Medvedev submits bills to Duma to extend pres, parliamentary terms

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Moscow, Nov 11 (UNI) Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has submitted bills to the State Duma, the Lower House, on amendments to the Constitution aimed at changing the Presidential and Parliamentary terms, the Kremlin press service said today.

In his November 5 state of the nation address to the Federal Assembly, joint session of Parliament, Mr Medvedev proposed extending the presidential term to six years from four, and the State Duma term to five years from four.

''I am convinced that our progress towards freedom and democracy will be successful and unwavering only if the prestige of the president and the State Duma is sufficiently high and based on the practical results of their activities, and if they have enough time to put their pledges into practice,'' Mr Medvedev said.

Larisa Brycheva, a presidential aide, earlier said constitutional amendments to extend the term of office of the Russian President would not require a national referendum.

Russian opposition has condemned the move.

The Russian Vedomosti paper said on Thursday, quotinng an unidentified Kremlin official, that the president could resign next year, paving the way for the return of his predecessor and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

The source told the paper that Mr Medvedev may resign citing changes to the Constitution, leading to presidential elections being held next year.

The newspaper said Mr Putin could then rule for two six-year terms, from 2009 to 2021.


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