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PACE Committee: Putin's power has turned the Russian Federation into a de facto dictatorship

12.09.2023, 17:56

The PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights raised concerns over the legitimacy and legality of amendments to the Russian Constitution which have allowed President Vladimir Putin to remain in office until 2036, reports Radio Liberty, citing the Committee's statement.

These amendments, including removing presidential term limits, have allowed President Vladimir Putin to remain in office until 2036, when he will be 83 years old.

“The overwhelming power of the President resulting from the extremely long term in office combined with the lack of any checks and balances such as a strong parliament, an independent judiciary, free media and a vibrant civil society has turned the Russian Federation into a de facto dictatorship,” the parliamentarians said.

Unanimously approving a draft resolution, the committee recalled the findings of the Council of Europe Venice Commission that “term limit waiver for the incumbent President violates both the Russian constitution and international legal principles.”

They added that "the Russian aggression against Ukraine and its aftermath demonstrate that dictatorships constitute a threat to the international peace and security and to the territorial integrity and political independence of their neighbours."

“It is therefore in the interest first and foremost of the people of Russia, but also of Europe and the whole world that democracy be restored in Russia,” the committee concluded.

Finally, the committee reaffirmed its support for the future ad hoc international criminal tribunal to hold the Russian leadership, including President Putin, accountable for their actions, starting with the illegal annexation of Crimea, the war in the Donbas region and the downing of flight MH17.

As IMI reported, on October 13, 2022, the PACE adopted a resolution declaring the Russian regime a terroristic one.

On July 4, 2023, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly declared Russia a state sponsor of terrorism and PMC "Wagner" a terrorist organization. On July 3, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly supported the creation of a special tribunal on Russia's crimes in Ukraine.

On March 17, 2023, the Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “the Court”) issued warrants of arrest for President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, and the Commissioner for Children’s Rights in the Office of the President of the Russian Federation, Maria Lvova-Belova. They are accused of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.

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