PACE Recognises Russia As a Dictatorship
The Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has expressed concern about the legitimacy and legality of the amendments to the Russian Constitution that allowed dictator Vladimir Putin to remain in office until 2036.
The statement was published on the PACE website.
The PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights has expressed concern about the amendments to the Russian Constitution that were introduced in July 2020. These amendments, among other things, remove presidential term limits and allow Putin to remain in office until 2036, when he will turn 83.
"The overwhelming power of the president, resulting from his extremely long term in office, combined with the absence of any checks and balances, such as a strong parliament, independent judiciary, free media and an active civil society, has turned the Russian Federation into a de facto dictatorship," the parliamentarians said.
The Committee unanimously approved the draft resolution. The parliamentarians also recalled the conclusions of the Council of Europe's Venice Commission that "the refusal to limit the term of office for the incumbent president violates both the Russian constitution and international legal principles."
They added that Russia's aggression against Ukraine and its consequences demonstrate that dictatorships "pose a threat to international peace and security, territorial integrity and political independence of their neighbours".
In view of this, the restoration of democracy in Russia is in the interests of the people of the country, as well as Europe and the world.
In addition, the committee reaffirmed its support for a future special international criminal tribunal to hold the Russian leadership, including Putin, accountable for their actions, starting with the illegal annexation of Crimea, the war in Donbas and the downing of flight MH17.
In the summer of 2020, Russia voted on amendments to the Constitution. One of the main points was the provision that Putin's previous presidential terms are no longer counted. This will allow him to run in the 2024 elections and potentially remain in power until 2036.
At the same time, Russian opposition media found that thousands of invalid passports were used in the voting. And some Internet voters were registered twice in the remote voting system. As a result, 78% of Russians allegedly supported the constitutional amendments.