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State Duma deputies start autumnal session with exchange of criticism

September 06, 2011, 20:30 UTC+3
United Russia has many times asked the opposition to stop “unfounded criticism, which has nothing to do with the reality,” Yarovaya said
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MOSCOW, September 6 (Itar-Tass) —— Deputies of the Fifth State Duma started their last session with mutual criticism and accusations, while the Liberal Democratic faction focused on global problems.

Speaker Boris Gryzlov made the introductory speech of the autumnal session. He reminded the deputies that less than three months were left for their lawmaking activity and expressed the assuredness that the period was sufficient in the case of the rational use of the working hours. “I appeal for the maximum concentration of the heads of committee and factions and members of the State Duma staff,” he said.

Every parliamentary group had five minutes for its speech after that. Irina Yarovaya from the parliamentary majority told colleagues about summer contacts with United Russia deputies with voters. Thousands of meetings were held in regions within the Russian Popular Front to discuss the issues “of importance and interest to the voters,” she said. “We worked together with public organizations on the people’s program of national development and the people’s budget,” she said.

United Russia has many times asked the opposition to stop “unfounded criticism, which has nothing to do with the reality,” Yarovaya said. “Voters trust nothing but deeds. You are not prepared to face people. You have nothing to tell them. It is impossible to bring nothing but slogans to the elections,” she told the opponents.

Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov also started his speech from the subject of the upcoming elections. The situation was the worst in the latest regional elections in Saratov, he said. “A commission, which united representatives of all political parties, exposed ballot box stuffing at 96 out of 250 polling stations,” Zyuganov said.

“After that the so-called Popular Front was formed, and people nicknamed it the Rublyovka Front. It was supposed to suggest something new,” Zyuganov said. “However, the budget message drafted by the Russian Popular Front for the State Duma inflated the spending on security, defense and law enforcement. It cost 300 billion rubles to rename the militia into the police,” he said. As a result, less money will be spent on housing and public utilities and on support to regions. “Physical education and sports, including preparations for the Olympic Games, will get 9.5% less. The same will happen to culture,” he said.

Meanwhile, member of the State Duma Security Committee, Liberal Democratic Party member Sergei Abeltsev said that “the reset [of Russia-U.S. relations] failed, the same as perestroika.” “The Cold War principles are being revived, so it is necessary to review the relationship between Russia and the West in favor of Russian national interests,” he said. In the opinion of the Liberal Democratic Party, “The West is preparing the international public opinion for regarding Russia as a rogue country.”

A Just Russia leader Sergei Mironov wondered “which State Duma Russia needs.” He asked colleagues whether they felt “like they were sailors of a toy flotilla.” “The ships are sailing but they are circling round and round in a pond, not traversing an ocean, and the wind that blows is not real either – someone is just puffing out one’s cheeks too much,” he said.

Russia needs the State Duma, which “will have worthy and constructive relations with the executive authorities. In this relationship governmental opinions would not be a bible but an opinion of a party to the dialog. Together with the Federation Council, the State Duma must be a partner, an opponent and a counterbalance of the government,” he said.

Following the speeches, the State Duma discussed three key presidential initiatives on the humanization of the Criminal Code and free legal aid. The debates were rather constructive.

The upcoming elections will cut the autumnal session of the Russian parliament. First Vice-Speaker Oleg Morozov said that the session would be over on November 23. Russia will have the new State Duma shortly before the New Year.

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