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On Friday, the commission on incomes of MPs of the State Duma lower house of Russia’s parliament can get a new chairman. On Wednesday, lower house speaker Sergei Naryshkin proposed for the post MP Nikolai Kovalyov, the former Director of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB).
The Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper has learnt that along with the decision to make officials submit expenditure declarations already for 2012, the State Duma will somewhat make their life easier. Officials and parliamentarians will be allowed to justify the expenditure by the total family income, not just by the earnings of the spouses.
After the election of Vladimir Vasilyev as head of the United Russia faction, his former post – Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Control over the reliability of MPs’ declarations of income – for nearly a fortnight remains vacant. According to the newspaper, the time-out, taken by the Duma majority in this appointment, is linked with two factors. And the personal factor is not the main one. Basically, the question of what to do with the commission, dubbed a tribunal by the Duma members, was being decided.
It is clear that not only State Duma members discussed such an important thing. Sources of the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily in the lower house first pledged that the Commission’s activity will be reduced to formal function, and then insisted that the purging of the State Duma ranks with its help will be continued. Hence the delay in the announcement of the name of the new chairman: it was supposed to appoint one or another person from United Russia depending on the future functionality of the parliamentary structure. On Wednesday, chairman of the State Duma Sergei Naryshkin announced that he recommends for this important post MP Nikolai Kovalyov, who was Federal Security Service Director in 1996–1998.
Deputy Chairman of the Commission from the Communist Party (CPRF) Vladimir Pozdnyakov said that as for him, the Kovalev candidacy does not provoke objections, the FSB past will obviously help him, and he has a good reputation in the States Duma: “The main thing for him is not to carry out the decisions similar to those the commission made in the case of MP Gudkov, because in this case he will not be able to maintain his reputation at a high level.”