Russia Considers Making Their Former Presidents Immune From Prosecution
Under proposed constitutional reforms, Russian presidents could be made immune from criminal prosecution once they leave office, according to Reuters.
President Vladimir Putin announced sweeping reforms to the political system last month that would shift certain powers away from the presidency. His initiatives, which were followed by a government shake-up, have been criticized as a way to allow him to extend his grip on power after his term ends in 2024.
The proposals were made by a parliamentary working group. Pavel, Krashennikov, the group’s co-chair said one of the reforms includes making former presidents immune from criminal prosecution.
“The president of Russia, having ceased to exercise his powers, has immunity. We have this (proposed reform),” he said at a working group meeting.
Krashennikov said earlier this month that Russian presidents could be made senators for life after their term ends -- lawmakers in the lower and upper houses of parliament are immune to criminal prosecution under Russian law.
The lower house of parliament has already backed Putin’s proposed reforms in a vote last month, but for the group’s proposals to be adopted, they must first be approved by the lower house in two further votes before the upper house does so. It would then be reviewed by regional parliaments and then signed by Putin.
One of the other proposals includes changing Putin’s job description from head of state to Supreme Ruler.