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Draft laws on Federation Council formation, status submitted to Duma

June 28, 2012, 1:42 UTC+3

The draft law was also studied by the Public Chamber, experts, the federal and regional authorities

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MOSCOW, June 28 (Itar-Tass) —— President Vladimir Putin has submitted draft federal laws “On Procedures for Forming the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation” and “On Amendments to Article 4 of the Federal Law On Status of Members of the Council of Federation and Status of Deputy of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation” to the State Duma.

The draft law on the procedures for forming the Federation Council is aimed at implementing the idea of forming the Federation Council based on the will of voters in Russia’s federal constituent entities. That said, it should assure adherence to constitutional provisions, in accordance with which the Federation Council has two representatives from each of Russia’s federal constituent entities: one each from the representative and executive government bodies, the presidential press service said.

According to the draft law, the Federation Council is formed and structured based on a non-party principle.

The draft law specifies the requirements for granting authority to a Federation Council member, and sets forth two different procedures for vesting authority for representation from a legislative body and executive government entity of the federal constituent entity.

The new procedures for forming the Federation Council are scheduled to come into force on January 1, 2013.

The document is the first legislative initiative of the Federation Council “that has been submitted for public judgment”.

“Nearly 2,500 people made concrete suggestions concerning the draft law and a number of them were taken into account when finalising the draft,” the Federation Council press service told Itar-Tass earlier.

The draft law was also studied by the Public Chamber, experts, the federal and regional authorities.

If the draft law is adopted, the Federation Council “will be formed by new principles”, its authors say. This will mean that the upper house will be more independent and have closer ties with regions.

Under the draft law, worked out by a special group of senators, after restoration of gubernatorial elections in Russia, prospective governors will offer three potential representatives to the Federation Council from each region. The one who gets the highest score will go to the upper house.

As for senators from the legislative branch, they will be chosen from among regional MPs.

The proposed mechanism is “the only optimal one in terms of taking into account the will of people and in terms of effective performance of the Federation Council’s constitutional functions”, Federation Council Chairperson Valentina Matviyenko said.

She said that those who participated in the discussion of the draft law “supported the fact that it aims to increase the role of the Federation Council by giving people more influence on way it is formed and operates”.

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