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Russian Region Lawmakers Want Constitution Changed to Allow 3rd Term for Putin

MosNews | August 10 2005

A group of deputies of the local legislature in the Russian Far East region of Primorye have drafted amendments to the Constitution enabling President Vladimir Putin to run for the third term, the NTV television reported on Wednesday.

One of the deputies told the channel that the effective constitution contains contradiction and must be amended.

Adam Imadayev said in an interview that in accordance with Article 32 of the Constitution, citizens of the Russian Federation have the right to vote and run for government posts if they are legally capable and are not serving a prison sentence passed by a court of law. However, Article 81, paragraph 3, says that one and the same person cannot hold the post of the Russian president for more than two consecutive terms. In other words, one article does not impose any limitations while another one does, the deputy said.

The proposal was approved on Wednesday by the Law Committee of the Legislative Assembly of the Primorye Region. The legislature will consider it in early September and if approved, the document will be submitted to the State Duma.

Vladimir Putin’s second term in office expires in March of 2008. The current Russian law forbids him to run for the third term, but given Putin’s high ratings among Russian voters the question of whether he is interested in staying in power for another four years arises quite often. So far, Putin has denied any plans to stay saying that the Constitution expressly bans such a move.

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