23 Dec 2022 14:25

Amendment renaming Tatarstan president as head - Rais of Republic of Tatarstan endorsed by Tatarstan parliament

KAZAN. Dec 23 (Interfax) - A bill amending the Tatarstan constitution, including the abolition of the Tatarstan president's position, passed the final reading in the Tatarstan State Council on Friday, an Interfax correspondent reported from the meeting.

No amendments to the document were submitted by the deadline, State Building Committee Chairman Albert Khabibullin said.

"The Committee has supported the bill prepared for the second reading, which passed every conciliation procedure, linguistic examination and evaluation by the legal affairs department of the republic's State Council," Khabibullin said. He proposed that the bill pass the second and final reading.

The bill passed by 79 votes for and two against. No one abstained.

The new name of the top official in Tatarstan is "the head - Rais of the Republic of Tatarstan," or "Rais of the Republic of Tatarstan" for short.

Transitional provisions say the new name will apply only to the new elected leader of Tatarstan. Hence, the incumbent head of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov, will be named "president" until his term of office expires in 2025.

As reported earlier, a group of Tatarstan State Council lawmakers submitted amendments to the Tatarstan constitution for the parliament's consideration. In particular, the bill renames the Tatarstan president as the head.

The amendments propose that the same person could serve as the Tatarstan head for two terms only. The earlier terms of office of the incumbent head of Tatarstan will not be counted. The current edition of the Tatarstan constitution does not limit the terms of office to two.

A bill on the unified system of public governance in Russia, which was adopted by the State Duma in December 2021, prohibits heads of constituent territories from being called presidents. The bill prescribed respective amendments to be made to regional laws by 2023. The bill on public governance also allowed choosing the number of terms of office for regional heads on their own.

Tatarstan is the only region of Russia that is still led by a president.

Regulations prohibiting regional heads from being called president were earlier endorsed by the State Duma in December 2010 as an amendment to the law on general principles of organization of the authorities in Russian constituent territories. The amendment tasked regions with renaming their presidents before 2015. The deadline was later moved to 2016. Tatarstan chose not to the rename its president back then.

The Committee recommended at a meeting on December 22 that the bill submitted by a group of Tatarstan State Council lawmakers for the parliament's consideration be withdrawn. The lawmakers mostly objected to renaming the top official of Tatarstan. They said that the bill did not take into account the historical and ethnic features of the republic and proposed that the head of the region be given an additional title.

The Committee met again in private on Friday morning, and the issue was submitted for the parliament's consideration later.