Russian State Duma passes bill on constitutional amendments

 13:04, 11 March, 2020

YEREVAN, MARCH 11, ARMENPRESS. Russia’s State Duma (the lower house of parliament) has passed the third and final reading of a bill amending the country’s Constitution, reports TASS news agency.

A total of 383 lawmakers voted in favor of the bill, and no one voted ‘no.’ As many as 43 legislators (members of the Communist Party’s faction) abstained from voting. Other parliamentary factions supported the document.

The bill expands the authority of Russia’s parliament and Constitutional Court, bars officials from holding foreign passports and residence permits and ensures the supremacy of the Constitution within Russia’s legal system. Besides, it adds a reference to God to the Constitution and enshrines the role of Russian as the language of a state-forming ethnic group. The bill also amends laws related to procedures and the implementation of the constitutional amendments.

The bill will now be submitted to the Federation Council (the upper house of parliament), which plans to consider the document later on Wednesday.

If two-thirds of Russia’s regional legislatures support the bill, the president will ask the Constitutional Court to check the amendments. If the court releases a positive ruling, a nationwide vote will be held on April 22. If the country’s people support the constitutional amendments, the head of state will issue a decree on the official publication of the amended Constitution, announcing the date when the amendments will take effect.

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Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS