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State Duma adopts election procedure bill for top Russian judges


MOSCOW, May 22 (RIA Novosti) - The lower house of Russia's parliament has adopted in its third reading a bill to give the upper house the right to directly appoint the head of the Constitutional Court, who will be nominated by the president.

The draft law will also increase the chief judge's term of office to six years from the current three.

The head of the Constitutional Court and his deputies are currently elected by the court's 19 judges, who are appointed by the upper house.

President Dmitry Medvedev proposed the term increase.

The draft law also proposes abolishing the post of secretary-judge and establishing a second post of Constitutional Court chairman deputy, as well as outlining the powers of the chairman in relation to the management of court staff.

The term of office of Russian Constitutional Court chairman Valery Zorkin ends February 20, 2012, his deputy's term of office expires April 25, 2011, with the secretary-judge's ending February 22, 2010.

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