State Duma adopts amnesty decree in first reading

The Russian State Duma passed Wednesday the decree "On the announcement of amnesty in connection with the adoption of the Chechen Republic Constitution." The decree was supported by 354 State Duma deputies, while 18 voted against it and 4 abstained. The decree needed 226 votes to be adopted.

The decree comes into force on the day of its official publication.

While addressing the lower chamber with a concluding speech, plenipotentiary representative of the Russian President in the State Duma Alexander Kotenkov said that "there are proposals to discuss and we are ready to discuss amendments to this decree." He urged the deputies to observe all the rules of procedure, that is consider the bill in the second and in the third readings, like a federal law.

In line with the Russian Constitution, the State Duma is vested with the authority to announce amnesty. The Russian President, who has the right of legislative initiative, submitted the draft decree announcing the amnesty on May 15.

The State Duma announces amnesty, guided by the tenet of humanism, "in connection with the adoption of the Chechen Republic Constitution" and "to enhance peace and concord," the blueprint reads.

Amnesty will be applied both to members of illegal armed formations and participants in counter-terrorist operations.

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