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Right choice: Duma discusses with experts political reform

May 21, 2013, 12:17 UTC+3

Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin, the leaders of Duma factions, participated in the discussion of the problems of the political system

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On Monday, May 20, the State Duma lower house of parliament in the “Open Tribune” format held hearings on the future development of the country’s political system. The main topic was the new election law. Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin, the leaders of Duma factions, as well as representatives of the expert community participated in the discussion of the problems of the political system.

The Novye Izvestia newspaper writes that speaker of the State Duma Sergei Naryshkin first thing said that the discussed election law will determine the further development of the political system of Russia in the conditions of intensifying political competition. According to him, more than 200 amendments have been submitted for the second reading of the bill. They include proposals to reduce the electoral threshold to 3 percent, to allow parties to form electoral blocs and admit to the federal elections the parties that achieved success in municipal and regional elections.

The Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily reports that Naryshkin recalled that at a recent meeting of the RF president with representatives of the Duma factions, the idea of ··another important political law - on the Federal Assembly was supported. The work on its preparation is already underway. “The reform of the political system continues,” Naryshkin stated. “And now it is difficult to imagine in full what the political landscape will be like in five years. One thing is obvious today - political competition is intensifying.” The leaders of parliamentary parties did not want to give ground. “We call for creating conditions for changing the teams,” leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) Vladimir Zhirinovsky told the meeting participants. However, voters should not be deceived in the process of the improvement of the political system and related legislation, Mr. Zhirinovsky said. If the majority wants to legalise blocs - so be it. But “they should be preserved for the entire period of the Duma, and not disband,” Mr. Zhirinovsky said.

The RBC Daily writes that according to Naryshkin, although there is currently the Law “On the Status of a Member of the Federation Council and Status of a State Duma Member,” it does not solve all problems, in particular, does not affect the work of the Parliament as a government institution. The leader of A Just Russia faction Sergei Mironov told the newspaper that such a law is needed. He revealed the details of the discussion of the bill in Sochi at a meeting of the RF president with the leaders of Duma factions. Vladimir Putin asked whether the MPs realise that by this law they will create restraints for themselves. It’s a reasonable question, as Sergei Mironov, for example, anticipates that the law on the FC would make it impossible to “pass laws on call.” Mironov added that in addition to the law on the Federation Council it is necessary to immediately adopt a law on guarantees of the parliamentary activity. “Why laws are currently passed in the second and third reading in one day?” he said. In his view, such practices in the State Duma are inadmissible.

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