NO OUTSIDERS ALLOWED IN HERE

0
34

Duma concerned about purity of party ranks and party election lists

The lower house is seriously concerned about the purity of party ranks and party election lists. It will pass legislation to block the path to the Duma and regional parliaments for all manner of renegades who use a party membership card to get elected, then change their political affiliation.


The lower house is seriously concerned about the purity of party ranks and party election lists. It will pass legislation to block the path to the Duma and regional parliaments for all manner of renegades who use a party membership card to get elected, then change their political affiliation.

A bill has been submitted to the Duma, containing amendments to the laws on the status of Federation Council and Duma members, on regional governments, on political parties, and on electoral rights. The bill proposes a stringent principle of separating friend from foe. According to the authors of this legislative initiative, a Duma deputy should retain affiliation and membership card of the political party within the federal list of which this deputy has been admitted to division of deputy mandates. The deputy is obliged to be a member of the deputy group formed by this party and has no right to quit it or to join other deputy groups. It is proposed to close the doors of factions for aliens.

It is known that now there is liberty in the Duma in this aspect. The biggest faction of United Russia gathered Yabloko member Mikhail Yemelyanov and URF member Pavel Krasheninnikov and Nikolai Gonchar, as well as a group of deputies headed by Gennady Gudkov (all of them were elected to the Duma in single-mandate constituencies). In the parliamentary faction of CPRF there is leader of Russian Communist Labor Party Victor Tyulkin. Although he is a communist too but he belongs to a different party. According to the bill, this will not be allowed in the next Duma. If a Duma deputy quits a party due to some reasons he will simultaneously lose Duma deputy mandate. People loyal to the party will come to his place in the Duma and in the faction.

Incidentally, according to the logic of authors of the bill, for Tyulkin who passed to the Duma in the ranks of CPRF remaining a member of the Russian Communist Labor Party the way to the Duma would be blocked. According to one of the norms of the bill, a political party “has no right to propose as candidates (include into lists of candidates) for seats of Duma deputies and other elected posts in state power bodies and local government bodies citizens of the Russian Federation being members of other political parties.” Thus the Duma hopes to exclude participation of the blocs that are hidden now in elections. The current election laws prohibit political parties to join election unions, to create blocs to move to the cherished goal having pooled efforts. The parties who could not run in elections independently planned a bypass maneuver in the form of common lists of candidates not to perish all alone. However, the bill deprives them of this last hope.

Oleg Morozov, Senior Deputy Speaker of the Duma, believes that this is fruitless. Morozov is against this idea because its implementation will breach the constitutional right of members of small parties to run for office. He also has grave doubts about the proposed methods of combating party renegades, saying “if you move to another party, return the deputy mandate ahead of schedule.” If you remain without membership in any party you can retain the powers. Why is there such inequality?

Off the record, Duma members speak even more harshly about the bill, dubbing it “party slavery.” They are confused because among the authors of the bill there are not only members of LDPR faction Yevgeny Bagishvili and Alexei Mitrofanov but also United Russia members Mikhail Yemelyanov, Alexei Guzanov and Alexander Kharitonov. The stance of LDPR is clear. Its leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky has struggled for a few years for harsh punishment of the renegades. At any rate, people in the Duma say that if United Russia members participate in promotion of the bill this is not incidental. This may mean that the idea has supporters in the Kremlin Administration. Morozov states that this only means that there is democracy in United Russia and members of the faction can propose legislative initiatives without their preliminary discussion at a general meeting. The authors of the bill hope that their proposals continue the course at strengthening of the role of parties in political life of the country, strengthen their independence and increase the interest in participation in elections of various levels. They also do not let the parties having no real support of voters use resources of stronger parties in struggle for deputy mandates and elected posts. So far, it is not clear when the bill will appear on agenda of a plenary meeting of the lower house. Duma deputies are busy with more pressing issues. In the “government hour” today they will again demand ministers Vladimir Yakovlev and Herman Gref to be responsible for implementation of state policy for creation of a market of affordable housing and development of mortgage programs. Yesterday, Morozov said that the conversation would be harsh. Government ministers will have to explain why an apartment in Athens or Cyprus costs less than an apartment in Moscow.

LEAVE A REPLY