The state Duma number six: what the MPs were doing in their last session


On Friday, June 24, will be the last session of the state Duma of the sixth convocation, but the deputies will work a few months — to communicate with voters, to pay the bills. In September the election of deputies of the new Duma. lists five facts about the last session of this convocation.

Victims Of Panama

For the first time since the adoption in 2013 of a law banning officials and deputies maintain foreign Bank accounts and possess shares in foreign companies in Parliament there is a real risk of being caught is that they violate the law. In early April, the international organization of investigative journalists (ICIJ) published a major investigation of offshore famous people, based on the resulting leak of documents by the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. Later ICIJ posted information about thousands of offshore companies registered on the Panama Islands.

In “the Panama papers” there were six active members. Four of them can not get into the next convocation. So, from participation in a preliminary inter-party voting “an United Russia” has refused one of the richest deputies — Mikhail Slipenchuk. Unofficially, the party explained that recommended he not put on the election, including because of the appearance of his name in “the Panama document”. MP himself said that is out of control all the mentioned companies according to the law. Deputy Viktor Zvagelsky, the defendant in the investigation, put forward his candidacy in the primaries, but failed twice to participate in the debate and was therefore dismissed. With a high probability of non-participation in the primaries means that these deputies will not appear in the lists of United Russia.

The liberal democratic party refused to take the Duma elections of another person involved in the investigation — Deputy Igor Ananskikh. The scandal with the offshore played a role in the decision of the party, said Vice-speaker from LDPR Igor Lebedev. Communist and former Chairman of the Board of Directors of YUKOS Sergey Muravlenko also may not be in the list of the Communist party, said a source in the party leadership.

Colleague Muravlenko party Denis Voronenkov, who were the current owner of the offshore company, plans for elections have not yet been reported. Deputy from United Russia Alexander Babakov did not applied for the primaries, but participated in the preliminary vote to determine the candidates in the Tambov regional Duma, which will allow him to move further in the Federation Council.

“Although officially we say that the investigations on offshore mean nothing (mean nothing as sanctions or doping scandals), after vigorous statements of “we are not” come very real consequences. In particular, the deputies involved in the Panama scandal, we might not see in the new Duma”, — says associate Professor of the Institute of social Sciences of Ranepa Catherine Shulman. Exclusion from participation in the primaries was one of the ways to punish those who were guilty not only to society, but to state that they are offended, I agree, political analyst Alexei Makarkin.

The year in exile

Infrequently, the state Duma adopts laws made by deputies from “United Russia”. However, this spring, “Fair Russia” celebrated the triumph. The Parliament unexpectedly passed a law about deprivation of mandates of deputies-truants. which was introduced last year by deputies of the socialist-revolutionaries, headed by party leader Sergey Mironov. Within six months, bill lay motionless, but in mid-March, was unexpectedly approved by the relevant Committee and later passed by the state Duma. Under this law, MPs can vote to deprive of the mandate of a parliamentarian, who for 30 days will not participate in the Duma and is not working with voters. The procedure of deprivation of the mandate of the starting faction or Committee of erring parliamentarians.

In may a law already in force, and in June the first mandate lost Ilya Ponomarev, which in 2015 takes place on criminal case of embezzlement at SKOLKOVO, and is located outside of Russia. Voted for it even a fraction of the Communist party, although the adoption of the law it is not supported, considering it unconstitutional.

The deputies also discussed the withdrawal of the mandate of Alexei Mitrofanov, accused of fraud and deprived of parliamentary immunity, but he sent everyone a certificate that’s not going to work because of illness. The liberal democratic party wanted to offer to deprive of mandates of several deputies, but later abandoned the initiative, deciding that they are punished by expulsion from the party.

The law was passed specifically for Ponomarev, told earlier a source close to the leadership of the state Duma, he wanted to teach a lesson for opposition activity.

This is the most harmful act for the whole of the sixth convocation, says Shulman. “It violates not the rights of MPs, and the rights of the electors who chose the deputies, and gave power in the hands of party and factional superiors, despite the fact that all members of each other’s chiefs they are all equally elected officials,” — said the analyst.

All for the elections

Current session — the last before the election next Duma, and the deputies are thoroughly prepared for the upcoming election day.

The lower house has adopted a number of restrictions for work of observers and journalists. Was imposed “serfdom” to observers, according to which there can be no more than two observers from the party or candidate, and one person can only work at one site and notify the Commission in advance. Journalists, according to the adopted in February, the law must now obtain accreditation for covering the elections. To obtain a permit can only correspondents working in his edition of not less than five months before election day. This was done to ensure that identity of the journalists are unable to work with representatives of public organizations (by law they are not allowed in the areas), explained in the Duma.

Remove the observer can now only by court order. On the one hand, this is good, but the danger lies in the lack of law enforcement practices — it is not clear how and in what terms will the court emphasizes the co-Chairman of movement “the Voice” Grigory Melkonyants. If the observer will immediately call to the court, and he wants to stay on the site and to continue to monitor, he will not be able to defend themselves, he explains.

Significant limitations deputies entered and candidates. Now they must take a personal part in the election debate and are unable to send representatives. This amendment will not allow to participate in the debate with a criminal record the head of FBK Alexei Navalny (he has no right to run for office because of a conviction, but could be for somebody of the companions). Similar restrictions will be for the election campaign: the posters will not be able to post pictures of people who are not candidates. It will not allow United Russia to use on advertising pictures of Putin and the opposition — images Bulk. And a relief: the size of the election Fund of the candidate in single-mandate constituency increased from 15 million to 40 million rubles.

The MPs has introduced a penalty for interference in the work of the electoral Commission, which had just been removed from the site. For “violating public order” on the day of the vote face a fine of up to $ 50 thousand. we are Talking about cases where actions do not contain penal act. This will give the opportunity to put pressure on observers, as this definition can be applied to anything, warned earlier, an expert on election law Andrey Buzin.

In a series of recent amendments can be traced to the fear of observers and journalists that says about the uncertainty of the power in the purity of the upcoming elections, said Melkonyants. Restrictions for participation in the campaign of bright opposition leaders also reflects the desire to limit political competition, he says.

Life after the Duma

The deputies of the sixth convocation has taken care of preservation of those colleagues who will not be re-elected to the Duma on 18 September, all cash payments, medical welfare and the right of use of office apartment in Moscow until December 4. So they compensated for the postponement of elections of the state Duma in the three months to September instead of December.

According to the calculations of authors of the law on the postponement of the Duma elections, the monthly maintenance of each unelected Deputy to the expiration of the initial term of office (until December) will cost the Federal budget more than 1,5 million rubles. If you can’t get re-elected none of the current parliamentarians, the General budget expenditures, the compensation will exceed 710 million rubles.

The state Duma refused to support the amendments of the liberal democratic party, which exclude these guarantees. In the “United Russia” each member decides whether he will take the compensation, said the source in the faction.

The costs of “Golden parachutes” deputies were laid out in the current budget, in contrast to spending on medical care nepereinami deputies. In addition, because of the right deputies of the sixth convocation to live in a service apartment until 4 December the state Duma may need to build more apartments for the newcomers from the regions, for these purposes, the money was not budgeted for 2016. Manager of the President is currently negotiating with the Finance Ministry to allocate additional funds in the amount of 500 million rubles for needs of the Duma in connection with the change of convocations.

The security forces of the road

The spring session was one of the most productive in the number of bills developed or adopted under great influence of law enforcement.

At its last meeting on Friday, the MPs will adopt a package of laws on combating terrorism. Laws were developed after the explosion on Board the A321 aircraft in Egypt and the terrorist attacks in Paris, in their development was the security Council, said sources in the Duma Committee on security. The bill had such provisions, as the withdrawal of citizenship, a ban on travel, and even restrictions on missionary activity. Suddenly, on the eve of the third reading deputies again reviewed the amendments and removed them from the items on the deprivation of citizenship and the ban on travel. From members was the desire for a short time to have a very conflict, the law, says political analyst Alexei Makarkin. But to take right before the election that people were so outraged, did not, if you want to take repressive measures, it will be in the next convocation, says Shulman.

At the spring session came to work on the formation of national guard troops. A bill of the national guard was made the President after the decree on the establishment of the troops. Duma gave soldiers guard the right to stop the crime, check the documents, arrest criminals, etc. For the second reading the deputies added to the law: they allowed the national guard to use weapons in the crowd, to quell the unrest in the colonies and to control arms trafficking. Against the bill voted only by the Communists.

After the meetings truckers against the introduction of the payment of heavy “Plato”, the deputies adopted the interior Ministry’s law, equating the rallies, caravans and campsites. The second reading, the deputies added the obligation to negotiate with the authorities and activities with the installation of “cube”. The law was passed only by the votes of the “United Russia”.

In June the deputies adopted lying in the Duma in the summer of 2015, the bill the Supreme court on the decriminalization of a number of articles of the Criminal code. They began to consider it after in December 2015 in defence of the proposals of the armed forces by the President. But of the five compositions, which the court suggested to translate into the category of administrative, in the latest edition of the bill there were only three: assault, failure to pay child support and petty theft. A source in judicial society is opposed to the transfer of a number of compounds in the category of administrative were made by law enforcement agencies.

After much debate, human rights officials and deputies prescribed in the law on non-profit organizations, what is considered political activity. In may, the members adopted and submitted by deputies of all factions of the law under which political activities are considered participation in the meetings, any activities related to elections, public appeals to state bodies with the purpose to influence their decisions, public evaluation of their work, influence public opinion, opinion polls, citizen engagement in policy and funding of the above. Will not be considered participation in policy activities in the field of culture, health, social support, sports.