The State Duma on Wednesday rejected a bill proposed by the Ivanovo Region's legislature to lengthen the term of the president of the Russian Federation to seven years from four years. The vote was 51 deputies in favor, 317 opposed and 2 not voting.
The bill sponsors argued that the change was warranted by the country's need for political and economic stability. They argued that seven years is a traditionally acceptable Russian term of authority for the highest level of power: a president of Russia, elected for seven years, would have adequate time to implement the plans and programs that he had run on. The constitutional amendment was opposed by he Duma committees on civil, criminal, arbitrage, procedural and constitutional law and on government organization. Only the Liberal Democratic fraction of the State Duma supported the proposal.
According to Russian officials, the detainees are employees of the private security company who were on their way to Latin America via Minsk and Istanbul. Lukashenko calls Russian officials liars