MOSCOW, March 11. / TASS /. The Council of the Russian Federation (the upper house of parliament) on Wednesday approved a bill amending the country’s constitution at a plenary meeting.
A total of 160 senators voted in favor of the bill, while one voted no and three others abstained.
The bill sets a limit of two presidential terms, but the outgoing head of state will be able to run for president once the amendments come into force. The bill expands the powers of the Russian Parliament and Constitutional Court, prohibits officials from holding foreign passports and residence permits, and guarantees constitutional supremacy in the Russian legal system.
Federation Council President Valentina Matviyenko will now send the bill to regional legislatures. Senators will need to pass a resolution on the positions of regional lawmakers so that the Federation Council can hold an unscheduled meeting on March 14.
If two-thirds of Russia’s regional legislatures support the bill, the president will ask the Constitutional Court to verify the compliance of the amendments with Chapters 1, 2 and 9 of the Constitution. If the court delivers a positive decision, a national vote will take place on April 22. If the people of the country support the constitutional amendments, the head of state will issue a decree on the official publication of the amended constitution, announcing the date on which the amendments will take effect.