Legislators in Russia’s lower house State Duma on Thursday unanimously approved a bill to amend the constitution submitted by President Vladimir Putin – the first of three readings.
All 432 legislators present voted in favour of the bill, part of Putin’s major reform plan unveiled last week, after debating the proposed amendments for less than two hours.
The second parliamentary hearing to adopt the amendments will be held on February 11.
Once parliament approves them, the people of Russia will get a chance to vote as well, although it is not sure how and if that outcome will have any impact.
Al Jazeera’s Step Vaessen reports from Moscow.
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