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    STATE DUMA TO REJECT BILL TO PROLONG PRESIDENTIAL TERM

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    MOSCOW, February 18 (RIA Novosti) - The State Duma is scheduled to review a bill that would extend the presidential term to 7 years, an initiative previously submitted by the Ivanovo legislative assembly.

    The bill calls for a constitutional amendment to extend the presidential term to 7 years.

    Duma speaker Boris Gryzlov said overnight that the United Russia faction was not going to pass the bill. Previously, he had also spoken against any amendment to the Constitution: "We are determined to preserve the Constitution."

    Duma committees such as the Committee on Legislation and the Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Construction had earlier expressed a negative opinion of the initiative and advised the lower chamber to vote it down. Chairman of the Committee on Legislation Pavel Krasheninnikov said, "one should treat the Constitution carefully and never get back to the times of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR when amending the country's main law at a plenary session would be just a matter of making it vocal."

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