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MOSCOW, June 8 (Itar-Tass) — The State Duma will discuss on Friday in the first reading a bill on the creation of public television in Russia.
Head the Duma Subcommittee on Information Policy, Information Technology and Communications Sergey Zheleznyak (United Russia) who on Friday is to be elected vice speaker of the lower house of parliament told journalists that amendments to the Law “On the Procedure for the Formation and Use of Special-Purpose Capital of Non-Commercial Organisations” will be considered. “They provide that the NCO, established for the organisation of Public Television will have the right to announce public fundraising for the formation of the special-purpose capital, while the usual NCOs can raise money only for the “replenishment” of the capital,” he explained. “Also, the amendments propose to give the government, as the founder of the independent non-profit organisation, the right to describe its activity.”
“When the Public TV creation was discussed, one of the priorities was the introduction of minimum of amendments to the legislation,” the parliamentarian recalled. “There is no need to provide changes to the law on mass media and advertising law for Public Television.” “The features of Public Television broadcasting, including those relating to the concept of the channel, content restrictions, non-advertising, can be fixed only in the constituent documents, and not in the law,” said Zheleznyak.
The Duma will also consider in the first reading a bill to establish a new memorable date - Russian Parliamentarianism Day, which is proposed to be observed on April 27. This date is chosen because on April 27, 1906 the first Duma started to work in the Tauride Palace in St. Petersburg, “which was, in fact, the first democratic body of authority in Russia,” Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin said on Thursday. He believes that “the establishment of such an important memorable date will increase the public attention to the work of the Russian parliament.”
The bill aimed at toughening penalties for “obstructing the exercise of voting rights” of citizens or the work of election commissions, as well as a violation of the order of financing of election campaign, falsification of electoral documents and election results will be debated in the second reading. Thus, for violations committed with bribery, misuse of official position, or by an organised group, the bill proposes a sanction from 100 thousand to 500 thousand roubles (currently - a fine of up to 200 thousand roubles). Interference with the use of official position will be punished by a fine of 200 thousand to 500 thousand roubles.
The lower limit of penalty for falsifying election documents entered is 100 thousand roubles. Punishment for forgery of voter signatures, illegal manufacture of ballot papers is increased by the bill from the current 100 thousand - 500 thousand roubles to 200 thousand - 500 thousand roubles. An alternative sanction for this offence will be prohibition to hold certain positions for a period of 2 to 5 years, or compulsory work or imprisonment for up to 3 years.