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Parliament passes law letting Putin run for president again

The document was formulated on the basis of amendments to the Constitution
Russia's Federation Council (parliament's upper house)  Valery Sharifulin/TASS
Russia's Federation Council (parliament's upper house)
© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, March 31. /TASS/. Russia’s Federation Council (parliament's upper house) at its plenary meeting on Wednesday passed a law enabling President Vladimir Putin to contest the presidency again.

A number of the law’s provisions were formulated on the basis of amendments to the Constitution, such as a restriction on the number of presidential terms for one person. It is applied to the incumbent head of state regardless of his previous presidencies. This rule allows the current head of state to hold this position for two more terms.

The law stipulates that the vacancy of Russia’s president is open to any citizen of Russia over 35 years of age, who has permanently resided in the country’s territory for no less than 25 years and does not have and never had citizenship or residence permit of another country. This rule does not apply to Russians who "earlier had citizenship of a state that was eventually incorporated entirely or in part into the Russian Federation in accordance with a federal constitutional law."

The initiative introduces age qualification for the chairperson of the Central Election Commission (CEC). This position is open to any Russian citizen over 30 years of age. The Central Election Commission can terminate the powers of a regional election commission member appointed at its initiative. The CEC is empowered to dismiss an election commission member only on the basis of a motivated request and in combination with the nomination of another candidate. The CEC also enjoys the right to form a separate territorial election commission for the federal territory Sirius.

The new rules also empower the election commissions to edit, in coordination with the CEC, the information about candidates in the ballot papers, if the number of candidates is more than ten, or if there is a list of candidates. Also, the election commissions will be able to increase the number of mobile ballot boxes that can be used for voting outside the polling stations.

The law specifies the norms of the law on State Duma elections and prohibits those convicted of offences of medium gravity to elect or be elected members of the lower house of parliament for five years following the cancellation of conviction.