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Putin to address State Duma over discussion on amendments

On Tuesday, Duma gives a second reading to the bill on constitutional amendments

MOSCOW, March 10./TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit the State Duma lower house of parliament after 3pm on Tuesday and will address the parliamentarians in connection with discussion on new amendments to the constitution, Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin has told TASS.

"I have informed President Putin about the discussion held at the State Duma. The president took the decision to arrive at the State Duma and address it today after 3pm," Volodin said.

At a plenary session of the lower house earlier, an initiative was voiced to have an early election to the lower house, which is linked with amendments to the constitution. Besides, parliamentarian Valentina Tereshkova suggested lifting restrictions on the number of presidential terms making it possible for the incumbent head of state to run for president once again.

On Tuesday, Duma gives a second reading to the bill on constitutional amendments. If it passes, a third reading may take place as early as on March 11 and the document will be sent to the Federation Council upper house on the same day. After that, it will go to the Russian regions so that regional lawmakers could discuss it.

The bill on amendments to the Constitution was submitted to the lower house of parliament by President Vladimir Putin on January 20. The first reading was held on January 23. The initiative is based on Putin’s message to the Federal Assembly on January 15, which concerned the expansion of the parliament’s powers, assertion of the social guarantees in the fundamental law and the primacy of the Constitution over international treaties in the Russian legal space.