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Russia’s Constitution Court to consider query on MPs’ status

November 20, 2012, 4:51 UTC+3
If a members of either house of parliament encroaches on the ban, his or her parliamentary powers may be terminated at an early date
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St PETERSBURG, November 20 (Itar-Tass) – Russia’s Constitution Court is due to hold an open session Tuesday where it will consider a query by the members of parliament representing A Just Russia Party and the Communist Party of the Russian Federation /CPRF/ on examining conformity to the Constitution of a number of provisions of the federal law on status of the members of parliament.

The query concerns, among other things, the ban to engage in commercial activity. If a members of either house of parliament encroaches on the ban, his or her parliamentary powers may be terminated at an early date.

On the basis of this provision, the State Duma voted September 14 to cancel the deputy’s right of a deputy chief of A Just Russia parliamentary faction, Gennady Gudkov, who was accused of illegal entrepreneurial activities.

On the eve of that voting, the heads of the two party factions, Sergei Mironov and Gennady Zyuganov submitted the query to the Constitution Court.

The claimants point out the absence of an effective legislative norm that would spell out a procedure for establishing whether or not a member of parliament engages in whatever activities incompatible with the parliamentary status and because of this a person can be stripped of parliamentary powers by political adversaries without a proper judiciary ruling.

The authors of the query say the provisions of the new federal law run counter to the principles of people’s sovereignty and division of powers, cut down the amount of deputies’ guarantees, and thus stand at variance with the Constitution.

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