Lawyers, academics, journalists and writers in an open letter urged not to allow the anti-constitutional coup in Russia

Russian lawyers, scientists, journalists, and writers wrote an open letter to the deputies, politicians, public figures and judges of the constitutional court on the inadmissibility of amendments to the Constitution. The petition, published on the website of “echo of Moscow”, signed by 357 people, including the Director of “Levada-center” Lev Gudkov, TV presenters Tatyana Lazareva and Mikhail Shirvindt, journalists Leonid Parfyonov, Irina Shikhman, film critic Anton Dolin, writer Alexander Arkhangelsky, Lev Rubinstein, Viktor Shenderovich and others.

“We believe that our nation was faced with the threat of a deep constitutional crisis and illegal anti-constitutional coup, clothed in pseudolegal form. Three main circumstances convince us that,” the message reads.

the Authors believe “illegal, politically and ethically unacceptable,” the introduction article 81 of the Constitution, paragraph 31, abdulayeva the terms of the incumbent President Vladimir Putin and his predecessor. They drew attention to the fact that the constitutional court on 5 November 1998, indicates that manipulation of the counting of presidential terms.

“in fact, this entry in the Constitution will claim that a General constitutional rule set out in paragraph 3 of article 81, does not apply to two particular people – Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev” – said in the letter.

the authors Also write that the amendments to chapters 3-8 of the Constitution in conflict with the provisions 1 and 2 of the heads. “These rules violate the principle of equality before the law and guarantees the rights and freedoms of the individual, are contrary to the principles of federalism, separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary and autonomy of local self-government,” they write, noting that this circumstance “creates a situation of internal contradictions the first and second parts of the Constitution and leads to paralysis and degradation of the constitution legal mechanisms”.

Finally, the appeal says about the violation of the procedure for making amendments to the Constitution. “St. 136 of the Constitution lists the representative bodies that must Express their attitude to the amendment to the Constitution to be accepted. And the Federal law “On the procedure of adoption and entry into force of the amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation” of March 4, 1998 clearly States that “one law of the Russian Federation on the amendment to the Constitution of the Russian Federation covered by the related changes of the constitutional text” (paragraph 2, article 2),” – said in the letter. The authors stress that the amendments are not interrelated, which is also a violation.

“the Entry into force of the amendments adopted with gross violation of the particular Constitution of the order of adoption of the amendments, we are forced to describe as the destruction of the established by the Constitution of the legal order – as anti-constitutional coup. This development undermines the possibility of evolutionary development of our country on the principles of democracy and freedom and threatens to turn into a new tragedy to national contention. Highlighting the historical significance of this moment, we urge all concerned citizens, politicians and public figures, to make all possible efforts to return the situation to the rule of law and constitutional order,” conclude the authors of the letter.

March 11, the state Duma and the Federation Council approved amendments within a few hours, and the parliaments of all 85 regions of Russia supported them for a record two days.

The protest turned out to vote in the Moscow city Duma. The Deputy from “Apple” Daria Besedina proposed amendments absurd and ironic character, for example, to bestow on Putin the title of “his Excellency President for Life,” to indicate that the family is “the Union of men, women and Vladimir Putin,” Putin – “you can commandeh all the beasts on earth and fishes in the sea” and that “there is no money, but you must stay.” In the end, 11 of the Moscow city Duma deputies voted against the amendments to the Constitution – this is a record number and percentage of members of regional parliaments.

14 March, the Federation Council approved the decision regions at the extraordinary plenary meeting. The same day Putin signed the law, and he was immediately sent to the constitutional court to check for compliance with the Constitution. The COP proceeded to consider the amendments and to convene an emergency meeting at the weekend.