Following Gennady Gudkov coordinator of the Communist faction Anatoly Lokot may lose his deputy mandate. He is suspected of lobbying commercial interests. The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office intends to make an inquiry. The experts believe that this can deal a blow on one of the most influential regional offices of the Russian Communist Party. Vice-Speakers Sergei Zheleznyak (United Russia) and Igor Lebedev (LDPR) asked the Prosecutor General’s Office to give a legal assessment of the document, on the basis of which, according to Zheleznyak, one can draw a conclusion that being a deputy Lokot was lobbying actively the interests of a commercial structure, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily reported. The conflict of interests is obvious.
“The appearance of Lokot is not accidental. He represents ‘the gold reserve’ of the Communist Party, as he is one of the most active Communist deputies,” political expert Rostislav Turovsky told the Kommersant daily. “The Novosibirsk office is one of the strongest offices in the Communist Party that showed successful results at regional and federal elections,” he said.
“I have never been engaged in commercial activities. I do not know how to do it,” Lokot told the Kommersant daily. The organization in question “is a public organization, which brings together doctors, scientists and other specialists.”
Lokot “is absolutely not that kind of lawmaker, who can be taken as a target in the struggle against the conflicts of interests and, moreover, “business activities of the deputies,” the deputy chairman of the State Duma committee for deputy ethics Andrei Andreyev (the Communist faction) told the Kommersant daily. “Each deputy is an owner of housing and is a member of the condominium,” he remarked. Therefore, Andreyev explained that each time voting for or against higher tariffs for the public utility services “each deputy is lobbying the interests of his condominium.”
Lokot is the third opposition deputy, who came under criticism of the State Duma majority for half a year of work of the sixth State Duma. Political expert Alexander Kynev does not understand quite well the logic of these actions. “The state authorities should be interested in keeping the system opposition in the field of cooperation. Probably, the Communist deputy was picked up as a target accidentally. The document, which was decided to be taken as a pretext, popped up,” the expert believes.