Russian lawmakers have enacted laws providing lifelong immunity from prosecution if and when he leaves office, according to reports.
Existing laws protect the incumbent president from responsibility for crimes committed during their tenure, but a group of parliament has proposed to extend these exemptions beyond the presidency. Moscow Times reported.
“The bill guarantees immunity to former presidents in addition to the terms of their presidential power,” Sen. Andrei Klishas, co-chair of the group, was quoted in addressing the reporter. “This expands the timeframe guaranteeing immunity for a president to stop exercising his power.”
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However, the measure would allow both houses of the Russian Parliament to strip the president’s immunity by a 2/3 majority within three months if it is accused of committing serious crimes, such as treason or other other felony.
Last week, Putin submitted a bill under a constitutional reform that would give the president a lifetime seat in the upper house after leaving office.
The Kremlin said in a press conference Thursday that many other countries provide lifetime guarantees to their former presidents.
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Political analysts believe Putin’s plan may be a means of stopping a “lame duck” term: he will choose a time to resign rather than expire and lose duty, Guardian reported.
These bills are part of the reforms Putin implemented after the constitutional amendment “reset” the presidential term limits, allowing him to continue running until the age of 84.
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The only living Russians who can take advantage of the new measures is Dmitry Medvedev, who served as president from 2008 to 2012 but gave up when Putin returned to office.