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    FEDERATION COUNCIL BELIEVES THAT STATE DUMA NOT TO SUPPORT EXTENSION OF PRESIDENCY TERM

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    MOSCOW, February 6, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Mariya Balynina) -- The constitutional legislation committee of the Federation Council (the lower house of parliament) believes that the State Duma will not support the initiative of extending the term of powers of the country's president from 4 to 7 years. The State Duma Council made a decision on Thursday to discuss this initiative, which was submitted late last year by the parliament of the Ivanovo region.

    "I believe that the reasonable principles will prevail in the lower house, and the initiative will not be supported," head of the committee Yuri Sharandin told RIA Novosti.

    He stressed that president Vladimir Putin pointed more than once to the inviolability of the present Russian Constitution. "That is why, I think that including this initiative in the plan of work has no sense," Sharandin said.

    On Thursday, when visiting the republic of Chuvashia Vladimir Putin again came out against the extension of the term of presidency. He said he understood why people advanced this initiative: it was aimed at stability in the country and was explained by the fact that the majority of Russians supported the policy of the incumbent president.

    However, "there are circumstances, which do not allow to support this initiative," Vladimir Putin stressed. According to him, stability would be achieved in this case "through the destabilization of the Foundations of the Constitution, which is the guarantor of stability."

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