7 Feb 2020 11:15

No clarity about possibility or necessity of amending Russian Constitution's preamble - Klishas

MOSCOW. Feb 7 (Interfax) - There is no clarity so far whether the preamble of the Russian Constitution should be amended and whether there is public consensus on this issue, co-chair of the working group on constitutional amendments, Federation Council member Andrei Klishas said on the Vesti FM radio station.

"So to say, the authors of the 1993 Constitution forgot about the preamble and there is no clarity whether it can be modified or not and what the modification procedure should be if this is possible. I don't know, we may have to ask the Constitutional Court. Opinions differ. But there is no decision so far to change the preamble," Klishas said.

It is possible to decide on changing the preamble when the public reaches some sort of consensus, he said.

The preamble must unite various social groups, Klishas said.

"The preamble must consolidate us. Hence, we have to understand that we need to achieve the highest level of public consensus on new wordings of this preamble if we do decide to change it after all. For now, I do not know whether this is possible or not," he said.

The working group is studying numerous proposals concerning amendments to Chapters 3-8 of the Russian Constitution, Klishas said.

"We will deal with them first and may consider the preamble issue once again because the preamble is a matter of ideology, it matters, but we need to know whether we have consensus or not," Klishas said.

Director of the Institute of Legislative and Comparative Law Talia Khabriyeva, who co-chairs the working group on changes to the Russian Constitution, earlier said that the group is discussing the possibility of expanding the Constitution's preamble by adding three provisions.

"Three proposals are discussed the most often: to reflect the role and significance of Russia's cultural heritage, to tell the world that we are against falsification of history and historical memory and distorting the role of the heroism of the people of Russia in World War II, and also to state the role of civil society institutions," Khabriyeva said.

There have been other proposals concerning amendments to the preamble, such as to mention God, to define the marriage as a union between husband and wife, to add the term "Russian," to define science as national heritage, and so on.