RESULTS OF AN OPINION POLL INDICATE…

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RESULTS OF AN OPINION POLL INDICATE…

Izvestia, August 8, 2000, p. 1

Sociologists of the Public Opinion Foundation have organized a survey on the subject of immunity of parliament deputies. As it turns out, Russians are well-versed in the matter – 86 percent know what it is all about. Along with that, only two percent say that deputies should retain their immunity and only half of them (or one percent) believe that “deputies need immunity in order not to fear for their lives when they work for the country’s good.”

Forty-three percent take immunity as an inevitable evil and are rather diffident about it. Twenty-four percent are of the opinion that the so called “immunity” implies the right to embezzle and murder without fear of retribution.

Six percent of the irreconcilables claim that the notion of immunity itself is an indication of inequality.

Generally speaking, 30 percent advocate abolition of absolutely all privileges to everybody…

TERRORIST ACTS STILL UNEXPLAINED

Izvestia, August 8, 2000, p. 2

About a meter of railroads was destroyed in the explosion that took place between Khasavyurt and Gerzel in Dagestan on August 6. Fortunately, no victims or casualties were reported. An hour later an explosive device took off in the center of Khasavyurt. Filled with explosives, a Moskvich-2141 blew up in the street killing two pedestrians and wounding three more.

For the time being, nobody has called the police to assume responsibility for the terrorist acts. Law enforcement agencies are working on several hypotheses.

Abdulmanap Musayev of the PR department of the Dagestani Interior Ministry does not rule out the possibility that the terrorist acts were supposed to “mark” the so called Independence Day of Ichkeria.

FACTION UNITY IS WORKING ON A DRAFT LAW

Moskovsky Komsomolets, August 8, 2000, p. 2

The Unity Faction is working on a draft law on political parties, which may be offered to the Duma this fall.

The draft law has to do with proposals to increase the minimum number of activists and members (it is currently 5,000) and to up the 5 percent election barrier to 7 percent.

These ideas failed to enlist the support in other factions. Vyacheslav Igumnov of the Central Council of the Yabloko says that “upping the 5 percent barrier will be fatal. The LDPR, and Yabloko, and the Union of Right Forces, taken separately, will find scaling the barrier next to impossible”. Igumnov is skeptical about the idea of a two-party system in Russia. He believes that at least six parties are needed on the political arena, two of them domineering.

PUTIN SIGNED THE LAW ON THE TAX CODE

Moskovsky Komsomolets, August 8, 2000, p. 2

At his usual meeting with Cabinet members yesterday, President Putin announced that he had signed a law on the Tax Code, appraising it as “an important event in the life of the country.”

POWER VERTICAL BUILT

Trud, August 8, 2000, p. 1

The law “On the order of formation of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation” came into effect yesterday. According to the presidential PR department, Vladimir Putin signed the document on Monday. The law itself was adopted by the Duma on July 19 and by the Federation Council on July 26.

According to the document, the Federation Council comprises two representatives of every Federation subject. The legislative and executive branches are represented each by a person. The former is elected by the regional parliament for the term of office of the electing body and is nominated by chairman. A group of deputies (no less than one-third of the legislative body) may nominate its own candidate. In federation subjects with two-chamber parliaments, the representative is elected by every house of the parliament for half the term of the given office.

The representative from the executive branch of government is appointed by the regional governor or president. This decision may be invalidated at the next sitting of the legislature by no less than two-thirds of deputies.

The document states that powers of a Federation Council member may be revoked by the body that elected him or the official that appointed him in the order of initial election or appointment. Formation of the upper house of the federal parliament should be over by January 1, 2002.

THE NUMBER OF BANKRUPTCIES IS GROWING

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, August 8, 2000, p. 4

Almost 7,000 applications for insolvency were forwarded to appropriate state structures in Russia in the first six months of the year.

THE RUBLE BECOMES MORE STABLE

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, August 8, 2000, p. 4

The ruble/dollar exchange rate as at August 7 was 27.72 rubles a dollar as against 27.76 during the weekend. Experts say that the tendency may continue.

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