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  • Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to fly into space, at a plenary session of the Duma, Moscow, Russia, March 10, 2020.

    Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to fly into space, at a plenary session of the Duma, Moscow, Russia, March 10, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 10 March 2020
Opinion

Changes include issues such as the definition of marriage as a heterosexual union and support for large families.

Russia’s Lower House of the Federal Assembly Tuesday unanimously approved 169 amendments to the Constitution, which were proposed by President Vladimir Putin and give Parliament more powers.

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During the debate, Alexander Karenlin, a lawmaker of the ruling party United Russia (UR), proposed advancing the parliamentary elections to Sep. 20 once the constitutional amendments take effect.

"It would be honest to hold new elections with the new possibilities that are open to us," Karelin said.

The UR lawmaker Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman cosmonaut, proposed eliminating the provision prohibiting presidents from running for third re-election, a proposal that would allow Putin to be a candidate in 2024.

"It is necessary to eliminate the restrictions of presidential mandates or, if the situation requires it and the people demand it, we must include the possibility that the current president can be elected again," Tereshkova said.​​​​​​​

Putin had proposed, however, and thus was approved, that the President of Russia cannot hold office more than two terms, without the adjective "consecutive" as until now.

The Lower House President Viacheslav Volodin indicated that Tereshkova and Karelin's proposals will be studied by the parliamentary groups.​​​​​​​

The constitutional amendments include issues such as the annual indexation of retirees' pensions, support for large families, mentions of God in the legal text, the definition of marriage as the union between a man and a woman, and the prohibition of transferring territories to other countries.

The new constitutional text also includes the concept that the Russian is the "founding people of the State."​​​​​​​

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