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Putin offers Duma debates on 100,000-signed initiatives

February 06, 2012, 2:31 UTC+3

He recalled the practice of posting the draft laws in the Internet is already well proven

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MOSCOW, February 6 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin believes that public initiatives, which gathered more than 100,000 signatures in the Internet, should be compulsorily debated in the State Duma.

“I offer to introduce compulsory parliamentary debates on those public initiatives, which will gather 100,000 signatures and more in the Internet,” Putin said in an article, which was published in the Kommersant daily on Monday. He recalled that similar practice exists, for instance, in Great Britain. “Certainly, the anonymous Internet does not suitable for this, however, in some other cases it helps find the moods in the society. It is necessary to develop an official registration procedure for those, who want to become a participant of this system,” the premier suggested.

He recalled the practice of posting the draft laws in the Internet is already well proven. “This mechanism of collective selection of optimal solutions or, as the experts put it, crowdsourcing should turn in a norm at all levels,” the premier believes. However, in the current situation Russia should go further and realize not only “the passive right”, which is an option of a citizen to give a response to some ideas and projects of the authorities, subjects of legislative initiative, but also to envisage “the active right”, which is an opportunity for citizens to form the legislative agenda themselves, put forward their projects and formulate priorities.

“The Internet democracy should be integrated in the common tendency for the development of the institutes of a direct referendum-based democracy,” he said. “It should be particularly widespread at municipal and regional levels,” the prime minister predicts. “Each municipality should hold not only direct elections of heads and deputies of the municipal assembly. People should also give assessments to other officials, which occupy the key posts. For instance, after the first year of work of the chief of the district police station residents of the district should be offered to say whether they want this person to work further in their district. The head of the district centre of the housing and public utilities sector can be put in the same situation. The work of the justice of peace can also be assessed, if the latter is not elected,” Putin underlined.

“It is necessary so that citizens could vote at city, municipal levels, put up their pressing problems for local referenda or Internet sociological surveys, find some bottlenecks and could be able to help settle them,” Putin indicated.

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