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The amendments in the law on rallies are approved: the March of Millions will be held under new rules on June 12

June 06, 2012, 11:54 UTC+3
The Communist Party of Russia intends to prove that the amendments do not comply with the Russian fundamental law in the Constitutional Court
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MOSCOW, June 6 (Itar-Tass) — It took about 12 hours for the State Duma to approve in the second and third readings the amendments in the law on rallies. The document envisages a tougher responsibility for violations, imposes several new bans and restrictions for demonstrators. The March of Millions will be held on new rules on June 12. The Communist Party of Russia intends to prove that the amendments do not comply with the Russian fundamental law in the Constitutional Court.

The RBC daily recalled that from now on for violations at a public event by the organizers or violations at rallies by an organization they will be fined 10,000-20,000 roubles, officials will be fined 5,000-30,000 roubles and legal entities – 50,000-100,000 roubles. If the obstacles were put to the movement of pedestrians or vehicles, the fine will reach 30,000-50,000 roubles. Officials and legal entities will be fined 50,000-100,000 roubles and 250,000-500,000 roubles, respectively. The damage to health will make the fine higher up to 100,000-300,000 roubles for individuals, 200,000-600,000 roubles for officials and 400,000-1,000,000 roubles for legal entities. The so-called “public strolls” will be fined as well.

For the first time since 2004, when United Russia gained a majority in the State Duma, the opposition succeeded to impose their rules of game to the ruling party at a plenary session hall of the lower house of Russian parliament, the Kommersant daily reported. Staging ‘the Italian strike’, the opposition succeeded to have the debates on most amendments to the bill, tougher rules of rallies and dragged out the debates of the bill for several hours. Meanwhile, the Federation Council can consider the bill already on Wednesday. Then the bill will be submitted for signing to the president and can enter into force before June 12, when massive protest actions are due.

The Communist Party already stated about its intentions to challenge the law in the Constitutional Court, the Kommersant daily reported. “The right for protest actions is one of fundamental human rights,” State Duma deputy Vadim Solovyev said. “Even if there are some claims to concrete people, who violated something on May 6, there is the Criminal Code. Let’s apply it for people, who hurled stones,” he noted. Ninety deputies should sign the request to the Constitutional Court to examine the law for compliance with the Constitution. The Communist faction includes 92 people, but Vadim Solovyev wants to attract deputies from other opposition factions. He intends to prepare the documents for a request in the Constitutional Court for a month.

Meanwhile, the Izvestia daily reported that the opposition does not intend to give up fighting. The point is that at the voting two votes from United Russia of Andrei Morozov and Yekaterina Semenova were taken into account, but these deputies dropped their deputy mandates, their votes cannot be counted (on Wednesday the United Russia faction includes 236 deputies instead of 238 deputies). Therefore, according to the regulations, the opposition can possibly bring back the document for repeated voting in the second reading in the State Duma with several hundreds of amendments. According to the agenda the Federation Council will consider the bill on Wednesday, June 6. But it is unclear finally whether the opposition will go on ‘an Italian strike’ again.

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