Russia’s Medvedev submits draft law on extending term

A052680713.jpgMOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has submitted to parliament a draft law on extending the presidential term of office, a Kremlin spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

Medvedev said last week he wanted to extend the presidential term from four to six years to give the head of state more time to push through reforms.

Some political analysts have said the change could be part of a plan for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to return as president, a post he held for eight years until his second term ended this year.

“The President of Russia …. has sent to the State Duma (lower house) draft laws on amendments to the constitution of the Russian Federation ‘on changes to the term of office of the president of the Russian Federation and the State Duma’,” a Kremlin statement said.

A spokesman for Putin said last week media reports that he would replace Medvedev as head of state after an early presidential election were “absolutely without foundation.”

The Kremlin has said the proposed change would not apply to the term Medvedev is serving now.

Medvedev also submitted a draft law to extend the term of the State Duma, or lower house of parliament, from four to five years, the Kremlin spokeswoman said.

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