Posted on Mar 10, 2020
Russian lawmakers will consider holding early parliamentary elections this year, the speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament has said on the day of a key vote for President Vladimir Putin’s sweeping constitutional amendments, as first reported by the Moscow Times this morning.
State Duma elections were originally scheduled for September 2021.
Lawmaker Alexander Karelin, a representative from the ruling United Russia party, said that Putin’s constitutional overhaul to be voted on Tuesday “grants us greater powers.”
“That’s why I believe it would be fair to hold new elections under our new capabilities,” Karelin said at the Duma’s opening session broadcast live on its website.
Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said that lawmakers will consider Karelin’s proposal for early State Duma elections during the ongoing session.
Volodin previously dismissed media reports of early Duma elections as “absolutely contrived, just fake” in January.
The comments suggest that the proposal has Putin's approval.
Shortly before Karelin’s proposal, Vladimir Zhirinovsky - formerly dismissed in Russia as persona non grata for his facist views, but now a key Allie of the Russian president - suggested September 20th, 2020, as the date of the next parliamentary vote.
Zhirinovsky added that, under his proposal, Russia should scrap presidential elections and delegate that authority to a decision making body known as the State Council, another proposal that would likely have the approval of the Vozhd, as it will open the door for him to retain power beyond the current mandate.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Putin plans to consider and address the early election initiative in the near future.
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