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On Tuesday, another State Duma deputy was found guilty that he continued business activities being a lawmaker. The Russian Investigation Committee has found that United Russia deputy Alexei Knyshov is involved in business. The deputy claimed that he stopped officially to manage all the companies that he owns, as long as he was elected in the State Duma.
The Kommersant sources in the United Russia faction stated that Knyshov will be inevitably stripped of a deputy mandate, because United Russia takes the conclusions of the Investigation Committee as "the absolute truth." The law does not ban the State Duma deputies to possess any business entities, but bans them to rule the companies and demands that a deputy should pass this property in trust management during his tenure in the parliament, the newspaper recalled. But deputy Knyshov "has been the director of two enterprises that he founded: the group of construction companies Don and the production association Rostov Building Materials" before December 21, 2011, the Investigation Committee reported.
The Investigation Committee launched an inquiry in the activities of Alexei Knyshov at the request of State Duma deputy Alexander Ageyev from the A Just Russia faction. He turned to the Investigation Committee after his fellow party member Gennady Gudkov was stripped of a deputy mandate. The newspaper recalled that last September the State Duma stripped member of the A Just Russia Party Gennady Gudkov of a deputy mandate, as the Investigation Committee also found that the latter continued to rule his company being the deputy.
"The United Russia faction has 93 deputies, which have some relation to business," the Novye Izvestia daily quoted A Just Russia deputy Dmitry Gudkov as saying. "They possess some stakes or are involved in the management of the companies. Frankly speaking, I am indifferent whether they will be expelled from the ranks of United Russia or not. In any case we will not support their decision, because this is an out-of-court political reprisal. Each person has the right for legal defence. Therefore, let United Russia decide itself, what it will do with their businesspeople. But one should understand that if a decision is taken only regarding Knyshov, this will be just an attempt to let off steam. Meanwhile, most people realize perfectly that probably a half of the United Russia deputies are engaged in business. So, several dozens of United Russia deputies will have to be expelled from the State Duma following Knyshov. Even if United Russia does not expel Knyshov, everybody realizes clearly that Gennady Gudkov was stripped of a deputy mandate only for political motives," Dmitry Gudkov noted.
Meanwhile, the RBC daily sources in the presidential administration claimed that the Kremlin will not protect the United Russia deputies from stripping of their mandates. Moreover, following the stripping of United Russia deputy Knyshov of his mandate, if the State Duma votes for this decision, another several lawmakers may be deprived of their seats in the lower house of parliament. Back in September, several days before the State Duma voting for stripping Gennady Gudkov of his mandate, an official in the presidential administration said that the Kremlin gave a clear instruction: "the deputies should act according to the law." The fact that some United Russia deputies helped the party with money during the election campaign the presidential administration found as a decisive factor. "The aid to the party is not indulgency. Everybody should understand this," an official said categorically.
The Kremlin and United Russia should be showed that a real struggle is being waged for clear ranks in the party, and "Knyshov was selected as a scapegoat," the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily cited Gennady Gudkov as saying. He believes that the deputies from the A Just Russia Party should not vote for stripping this United Russia deputy of his mandate, if it comes to this voting.