November 11, 2008
The bills were submitted in accordance with Article 134 of the Russian Constitution.
The first draft law on amending the Constitution provides that the President of Russia will be elected for six years and State Duma deputies for five years. Previously, both held office for four years and there were a just few months between the presidential and parliamentary elections.
Increasing the terms of office will allow the President and State Duma to determine the direction of Russia's development and begin to implement their objectives, but also to better utilise powers that are intended for one term. Such changes will increase the responsibility of the president and the Russian parliament for their respective performances.
Establishing a longer term of office for the President with respect to State Duma deputies speaks to the need to ensure the stable development of the country and the continuity of government policies. The achievement of this goal is rendered more difficult when there is a virtually complete turnover of power at the federal level every four years.
The law on amending the Russian Constitution applies to the President and the State Duma who will have been elected after its entry into force.
The second bill the President submitted to the State Duma is aimed at enhancing the role of the Russian parliament in public and civic life. The changes to the Constitution will consolidate the State Duma's supervisory authority over Russia's government cabinet.
The draft law provides for annual reports from the cabinet on the results of its activities to the State Duma.