In the Address of the President to the Federal Assembly in January 2020, a proposal was made from the Head of State to introduce a number of amendments to the country’s Constitution. On March 11, the State Duma adopted the law on the Amendments in the third reading, which was then supported by the Federation Council and signed on March 14 by the President. The main changes in the basic law of the country were collected and analyzed by ROT FRONT.
Firstly, the institution of power has been extensively reformed.
(The text of the law can be found on the official portal of legal information. – Ed.)
- The Constitutional Court is vested with additional powers.
Now, in the manner prescribed by law, it may not allow the execution of a decision of a foreign, international (interstate) court or arbitration court (arbitration) if it imposes obligations on the Russian Federation that are contrary to the law of that country.
The Constitutional Court is also obliged, upon the President’s request, to verify the constitutionality of certain draft laws before they are signed by the first person.
But: the composition of judges was reduced – it was 19, it became 11.
How will this affect the Russians?
Now, Russian citizens illegally convicted of offenses in Russia will lose the opportunity to justify themselves, for example, in the European Court of Human Rights.
Even if a capable State Duma is elected (no, it will not), it will not be able to carry out any of the bills unsatisfactory for Russian capital, since they will be “wrapped up” by the Constitutional Court before the presidential audit. This is another mechanism for controlling draft law.
The judiciary becomes ultimately controlled by capital.
2. Now one person can not hold a presidential post for more than two terms (in the previous version of the Constitution there was a ban on leadership of the country for more than two terms in a row).
The current President has taken office for four terms. Now Vladimir Putin is probably going to be elected for the fifth time. How exactly is it possible?
3. Here is how. At the suggestion of Valentina Tereshkova, an astronaut who forgot which country she is serving, an amendment to nullify the presidential term was included in the Constitution. It says that even if a person held a presidential post a certain number of terms before the adoption of a new version of the Constitution, after its adoption, these terms are reset.
The likelihood that the next ten years large capital, as the supreme top manager, will be defended by Putin is very high.
4. The former president of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, and the current President, Vladimir Putin, after the expiration of his long presidential term, will be endowed with state immunity. Deprivation of immunity is only possible at the initiative of the State Duma or the decision of the Supreme Court.
So, the only way to hold former heads of state accountable is not within the legal field.
5. The powers of the Prime Minister have been reduced.
Now, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin is personally responsible to the President of Russia for the exercise of the powers vested in the Government.
The structure of the appointment of ministers has changed. Previously, the Prime Minister proposed candidates for approval by the President. Now they propose candidates for approval by the State Duma. The appointment of the approved figures will be carried out in the same old way, though – by the signature of the President.
In addition to the judicial branch, the executive branch of power becomes completely controlled by capital.
6. The powers of the Federation Council have changed significantly.
Judges and Chairpersons of the Constitutional and Supreme Courts will now be appointed and terminate their powers (in case of misconduct or for other legal reasons) only after they are presented by the President. In the previous version of the Constitution, no submission was required.
The Federation Council will no longer be able to appoint prosecutors general. Its task is to carry out “consultations on the candidates proposed by the President of the Russian Federation for the position of …”
However, now the Federation Council will also be able to advise on the appointment of leaders of federal executive bodies, including a number of federal ministers.
Senators can now be appointed for life. Those who are not lucky can be elected not for five years (as in the previous version of the Constitution), but for six.
7. The State Duma will not be able to reject candidates nominated by the President for more than twice. The third deviation, if more than one third of the posts of members of the Government are vacant, means the dissolution of the Lower House of Parliament.
The “goodies” for members of the Federation Council and deputies of the State Duma, coupled with extremely high wages and limited powers, allow the presidential power to concentrate the legislative branch in their hands. Basically, we say No to the system of checks and balances. We say Yes to ultra-presidential power instead.
8. The powers of the President are significantly expanded.
They represent the State Duma, appoint the Prime Minister and remove somebody from this position.
They exercise general leadership of the Government and have the right to chair meetings.
They approve of the structure of federal executive bodies proposed by the Chairman of the Government and they themselves determine the bodies whose activities they will lead and the bodies that the Government will control.
Secondly, small changes were made to the social part of the Constitution.
- Now the Constitution guarantees a wage of at least the cost of living.
This is pure populism. Such a clause already exists in the Labor Code of the Russian Federation, Art. 133 “Setting the minimum wage” and reads as follows:
“The minimum wage is set simultaneously on the entire territory of the Russian Federation by federal law and cannot be lower than the subsistence level of the able-bodied population.”
2. The indexation of pensions is constitutionally established at least once a year.
This is populism, too. According to law No. 166-FZ “On state pension provision in the Russian Federation”, the indexation of social pensions is carried out annually in accordance with the growth rate of the living wage of a pensioner.
3. The state guarantees targeted social support for citizens and indexation of social benefits.
As the classic said, “it is formally correct, but essentially it is a mockery“. This amendment tells us that big business will continue its activities to curtail the social state in Russia.
“We cannot just give out money, but we need to clearly understand who is poor and who is not,” said Vladimir Nazarov, director of the NFI at the Ministry of Finance, in January.
Such an attitude can lead to any assumptions and distortions.
Thirdly, the values of the new Russia have been modernized.
- God appeared in the Constitution.
“… Preserving the memory of the ancestors who transmitted to us ideals and faith in God, as well as continuity in the development of the Russian state”.
Either the Constitution tells us to forget about the memory of the ancestors who adopted the Soviet scientific worldview, or state propagandists have to remember and add to the manuals that it was the Soviet people who conveyed modern faith to God in modern Russia.
2. The struggle for historical truth. According to the text of the Constitution, Russia “honors the memory of the defenders of the Fatherland, provides protection of historical truth“.
Most likely, the first criminals will soon be announced Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky and the most famous Russian director Nikita Mikhalkov, who approved and shot disgusting films about the Great Patriotic War.
In fact, those citizens who are really fighting for historical truth will soon begin to suffer – the Communists, and not at all those who hang memorial plaques to SS gruppenführers.
3. The state-forming nation is Russian.
4. Marriage is the union of a man and a woman. Children must take care of their parents.
5. Russia provides its own territorial integrity and sovereignty. Actions aimed at alienating territories (except delimitation, demarcation, re-demarcation) are not allowed.
Ultra-right values are more important than equality and internationalism.
The state has already turned onto the right lane and is increasingly moving towards establishing a regime in which being truly left is a crime. Land belongs to capital. Factories belong to capital. All power belongs to capital. All values are the Empire values. This is what the new edition of the old Constitution concludes, which back in 1993, after the execution of citizens in the White House, was nicknamed the “Constitution on blood”.