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MOSCOW, May 18 (Itar-Tass) — The State Duma dropped officially from the Friday agenda the debates on the first reading of a bill over higher fines up to 1.5 million roubles for violations at the rallies. The decision was taken unanimously.
The decision was preceded with the consultations between State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin and the leaders of the State Duma factions. The consultations resulted in the decision to delay the debates on the bill to Tuesday, May 22.
Opening a plenary meeting, Naryshkin noted that the bill is high-profile and it should be discussed all the same, because according to the opinion shared by all deputies, “the legislation on rallies is imperfect.” However, “additional consultations should be held in parliamentary factions, committees, and the degree of responsibility for violations at the rallies, criteria for taking these violations as an offence should be set,” the speaker added.
The bill was submitted in the State Duma in the wake of the protest action in Moscow on May 6 by a group of deputies from the United Russia faction headed by Alexander Sidyakin elected from the All-Russian Popular Front. The essence of Sidyakin’s bill is to raise sharply fines for violations at rallies and marches, including for an excessive numerical strength of a demonstration and the deviation from the route of a march. Meanwhile, the deputy does not conceal that the bill will be targeted primarily against the opposition. “Prepare to pay the cash, the oppositionists,” he said in his Twitter blog.
The fines will be high, he said. Sidyakin offered to raise the maximum administrative fine in the Code of Administrative Offences from 5,000 roubles to one million roubles for individuals and to 1.5 million roubles for officials. Only the court can rule for a fine. Public compulsory correctional works is planned to introduce for violations of the legislation on rallies.
The State Duma opposition criticized sharply the idea, finding the bill “harmful, antidemocratic and untimely.” “Higher fines to such an awful level will make the protester angrier, will make the protesting moods more radical. These initiatives should be consider in a calm situation,” Vice-Speaker from the LDPR Igor Lebedev told Itar-Tass.
The CPRF, the LDPR and A Just Russia already stated that they will not support the bill. They kept their view after the consultations between the leaders of these factions and the State Duma leadership.