State Duma approves extn of presidential,parliamentary terms

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Moscow, Nov 21 (UNI) The State Duma, the Lower House of Russian Parliament, today in the third and final reading, overwhelmingly approved the Constitutional Amendment Bill to extend the Presidential and Parliamentary terms from the current four years to six and five years respectively.

The amendments passed in a 392-57 vote, will now go to the Upper House, the Federation Council, where it is expected to have a smooth sail, as it is dominated by pro-Kremlin senators.

Only the Communist lawmakers, led by their leader Gennady Zyuganov, opposed the amendments.

The amendments have been fast-tracked in the Lower House, which observers see here as a sign Prime Minister Vladimir Putin may return to the presidency very soon, possibly early next year.

Mr Putin could not fight the presidential elections early this year, as he had a constitutional bar not to run for his third term.

The amendments will apply to the next President and Mr Putin, if he comes back to power again, may serve two six-year terms.


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