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Duma ethics commission may propose oppositionist Gudkov to quit voluntarily

March 15, 2013, 13:58 UTC+3

According to the source, "deputies are resolute" and the proposed list of measures may be enlarged, despite the fact that the commission's powers are limited

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MOSCOW, March 15 (Itar-Tass) The Duma commission on ethics may propose Dmitry Gudkov to quit the lower house voluntarily.

The formulation may be written down in a draft official resolution of the commission, which on March 20 will consider the appeal of representatives of all the parties in the Duma in connection with Gudkov's recent trip to the United States, a source in the lower house told Itar-Tass.

According to the source, "deputies are resolute" and the proposed list of measures may be enlarged, despite the fact that the commission's powers are limited.

After what he did, Dmitry Gudkov must think whether it is reasonable for him to remain in the Russian parliament. Most likely, this will be indicated to him at the commission meeting and in its official decision, commission members believe.

Earlier this Friday, representatives of all the four parties in the State Duma, Sergei Zheleznyak of United Russia, Igor Lebedev of the LDPR, Oleg Denisenko of the CPRF and Svetlana Goryacheva of the Just Russia party asked the Duma's ethics commission to "give an assessment to deputy Gudkov's actions in connection with his trip to the United States and his speech on March 5, 2013 at the forum held by the Freedom House organization with the participation of U.S. Senate members, including the author of the anti-Russian “Magnitsky Law”, James McGovern.

The Russian legislators noted in their appeal that Gudkov's report he made at the forum was written and delivered in English, though according to the international practice parliamentarians speak in the official language of their country at international forums.

Though Gudkov, when he began speaking, apologized for his English, the report was prepared on the professional level of English natives. It is confirmed by a linguistic examination, deputies noted. They believe the text of the report Gudkov read out had been prepared for him by the American side.

According to the Duma members, the report was of a tough anti-Russian character and was aimed at discrediting the country. The deputies cited the statements about the Duma as an "obedient parliament" that adopted "anti-constitutional laws", statements in support of the Magnitsky Act and the request for support from the United States to solve Russia's internal political problems.

"We believe the statements of deputy Gudkov in essence are calls for unlawful actions violating the Russian state's sovereignty," the legislators said in their appeal.

All the deeds of deputy Gudkov demonstrate that he ignores the requirements set for members of the Russian parliament and reveal planned actions against the Russian statehood and in essence betray national interests, when a State Duma deputy must protect interests of his country and electors, they noted.

Acting head of the commission Andrei Andreyev, when talking to reporters, declined to predict what measures would be taken against Gudkov. He noted that the commission could recommend the Duma to administer a rebuke against a deputy, suggest making public apologies, spread information in media about the fact of a deputy's violation of the ethic rules and ban a deputy from speaking at one or a few meetings.

Last summer, the commission adopted a resolution describing the participation of Dmitry Gudkov, his father Gennady Gudkov, who was a Duma member at the time, and Ilya Ponomaryov in the street protest demonstrations (in particular the so called March of Millions on May 6, which ended in mass disorders in central Moscow) as "violation of the ethic regulations" discrediting the status of a deputy and undermining the authority of the legislative power. The Gudkovs and Ponomaryov were proposed to voluntarily quit the parliament.

Sergei Zheleznyak of the United Russia party told Itar-Tass "We together with colleagues from all the factions of the State Duma -- Igor Lebedev (LDPR), Oleg Denisenko (CPRF) and Svetlana Goryacheva (Just Russia) -- have requested the State Duma Commission on Deputy Ethics for an inquiry in connection with the statements and calls for American authorities’ interference in Russia's internal affairs, voiced by deputy Dmitry Gudkov during his overseas voyage at the anti-Russian forum that was held in the United States on March 5, this year."

As media reported earlier, Dmitry Gudkov, during his visit to the United States, spoke at the forum of the Freedom House human rights organization, where he proposed a number of measures to American politicians to put pressure on corrupt persons among top Russian authorities, including in the State Duma.

In response, United Russia members stated they would initiate amendments to the Duma regulations for deputies to go on trips abroad after it was agreed on with the Duma speaker and party leaders. LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky demanded to arrest Gudkov and open a criminal case against him on charges of state treason


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