Upper House may become non-partisan

A Presidential bill on new rules for the formation of the Federation Council has been submitted to parliament.

“First of all, the Upper House should be comprised of people with links to the regions,” President Vladimir Putin explained when speaking at the Federation Council on Wednesday. “And it should be formed taking into account voters’ will,” he added.

One of its key provisions frees prospective senators from the necessity to be nominated by a party. In Putin’s opinion, the reform will make the procedure more democratic.

In addition, the new bill reduces the minimum age for senators from the current 30 to 21 years.

The draft law does not introduce direct elections for senators as this would contradict the Constitution. Under it, the Federation Council is formed from representatives of legislative and executive branches of power. Direct elections could be possible in the future, the President noted, but for this the Constitution should be amended.