Chechnya held its first-ever constitutional assembly in Grozny on June 21, Newsru.com reported citing Interfax. According to the website, the assembly was devoted to reforming the republic’s parliament and extending the term of the republic’s president, and unanimously adopted proposals on amendments to the republic’s constitution and revisions of specific articles of the republic’s constitution made by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. Kadyrov’s proposals will be put to a referendum, which will most likely be held on December 2 this year, Newsru.com reported.
The first of Kadyrov’s proposed changes is to give the Chechen parliament the right to make changes and additions to the republic’s constitution without requiring those changes and additions to be approved in referendums. The second of Kadyrov’s proposals is to extend the terms of the Chechen president and Chechen parliamentary deputies from four to five years. Kadyrov also called for changing the current two-chamber Chechen parliament into a single-chamber parliament and decreasing the number of seats in the parliament to 41 from the current 58.
Kadyrov also proposed, among other things, amending Chechnya’s constitution to make the Chechen language a state language along with Russian.
Newsru.com noted that the speaker of the Chechen People’s Assembly, Dukvakha Abdurakhmanov, said at a recent press conference in Grozny: “We are absolutely certain that a four-year term for the president of the Chechen republic and, even more so for the president of the country, is not optimal.” Abdurakhmanov said the Russian constitution was passed during a “transition period” and needs to be revised, including the article covering the length of the presidential term.