Volodinskaya minimum: memorable than the spring session of the Duma


Smaller initiatives

In the state Duma of the seventh convocation during the spring session was made in two times less bills than in session a year earlier, when I was working last convocation — 677 vs 1117. This is the minimum for the spring sessions for the last five years. The decline in the number of introduced bills twice the new Council has shown in its first autumn session (compared to previous autumn).

Considerably less steel to make the initiative members. In February, the working group on reduction in the number of introduced and pending bills, created on the initiative of the speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, deputies recommended to discuss with a fraction of their initiatives before making. The idea of preliminary approval of draft laws with factions Volodin explained the need to move away from populism in the legislative process. According to political analyst Konstantin Kalachev, in this matter, the speaker focuses on the voter for which would be better if MPs were made smaller initiatives.

Deputies immediately began to adhere to this rule: the United Russia, in particular, had to withdraw in April, the draft law allowing the police to use weapons in the crowd, as it was not previously agreed with the leadership of the faction. There is a promise from the leadership Council and the leaders of the factions to make less bills, explained RBC Deputy from “Fair Russia” Mikhail Emelyanov. A considerable number of initiatives in the last convocation were made by the opposition deputies, who are now in the lower house less, he added.

By almost half compared to the same period in 2016 decreased and the number of adopted bills (284 vs 384). Half of the approved in this session laws were initiated by the government, about one third of the deputies (a similar ratio was last spring).

Without opposition

About half of the initiatives supported by the Deputy has made the United Russia party (without the participation of other factions). Two taken in this session of the law of the liberal democratic party (one of them is increasing the penalty for officials for refusing to provide information to the citizen) and the Communist party (in particular, on the limitation of duration of daily work for employees at the age of 14 years) and one — “Fair Russia” (on the priority of repairing the damaged vehicle on the reimbursement payment). A modest result of the opposition factions were characteristic of the sixth convocation.

Under the rest of successful initiatives was signed by representatives of several factions (collective lawmaking was popular last spring). From the opposition factions most of all make projects and endorse initiatives, colleagues spravorossy.

The bills from the opposition became more serious to be discussed, but this has not led to the fact that they were more likely to be taken, said Emelyanov. “In previous years when we’ve played the opposition MPs, the ruling party was silent, and then stupidly pressed the button, now there is a meaningful discussion. But the actual results are not brought because the balance of power in the Duma was predetermined by the election results,” he said.

Mainly the deputies of the seventh convocation was engaged in the rejection of the bill, which passed out of the sixth convocation. About 750 of the initiatives of the deputies of previous convocations was rejected by the new Duma, reported on 18 July the first Vice-speaker of the state Duma Ivan Melnikov (two times more than it is).

The old principles

The priority of the work of the new Duma was “to improve the quality of lawmaking” and the creation of “atmosphere of the discussion consideration” of the bills, said Volodin, summing up session on July 21. In the seventh convocation was taken less initiatives than in the same period in the previous convocation recognized the speaker, noting that “the essential quality of legislation, not quantity”. In the Duma now contribute less bills, and deputies continue to actively clear legislative debris left over from the previous convocation. But the old principles of work of the sixth convocation, which call into question the quality of lawmaking, the practice now.

One of them allows the inclusion in the bill amendments that change the original concept of the document adopted in the first reading. It reduces the time of consideration and discussion of controversial initiatives. In March, deputies adopted amendments that allow the regional authorities to liquidate local government in the settlements. The changes were initiated by the authorities of the Moscow region, the Deputy from region to United Russia, Mikhail Terentiev has proposed to enshrine in the law the possibility of combining all settlements, including rural areas, within the municipal district, urban district. This reform led to massive protests in the suburbs.

Resonant amendments were made to the second reading of the bill to abolish direct voting of the population at the decision to change the statuses of urban and rural settlements. This project was adopted in the first reading in summer 2015.

It happened in the case of a bill to abolish the decision on granting Russian citizenship convicted for terrorism and extremism. For the second reading the deputies passed an amendment allowing the citizens of Ukraine who are unable to obtain a certificate of renunciation of citizenship of this country to obtain Russian citizenship, notarize the disclaimer.

At the beginning of session deputies prescribed in the rules of that vote on the bills in several readings in the same day can be only in exceptional cases. In the sixth Duma adoption of law second and third reading in one day or in the first and in General, happens regularly. However, from the practice of hasty adoption of new laws the Duma has failed to go fully.

As in the sixth Duma, at the end of the spring session shall consist of resonant bills or amendments, which are rapidly accepted. A week before the session, United Russia, Vladimir Vasilyev and Vasily Piskarev has made a document to toughen punishment for incitement of children to suicide up to 15 years imprisonment (the same penalty imposed for murder). The amendments were adopted by the Duma in record time — for a week they passed all three readings. According to Piskareva, the urgency associated with activation of the “groups of death”. In this June 18, only entered into force a law introducing criminal liability from three to six years for instigating minors to suicide.

The difference with Naryshkin

Experts do not see global differences in the legislative activities of the seventh Duma in comparison with the previous convocations.

The Kremlin continues to responds to the political agenda through the conduct of relevant laws in the lower house, and in this sense the Duma Volodina little different from Parliament when his predecessor Sergei Naryshkin, said the political scientist Nikolay Mironov. However, there are some examples of when a new speaker began to intervene in the political and socio-economic agenda more meaningful than Naryshkin, said Mironov. For example, he led the initiative Volodina on the organization of the dialogue between the government and striking miners in Rostov and hearings for the renovation, which the speaker has invited the residents of Khrushchev.

Unlike the previous convocation of the seventh Duma did not make laws aimed at polarization and the creation of a situational majority around the politics of power, as, for example, the law of the sixth convocation on prohibition of propaganda of homosexuality among minors, said Deputy Director of the Center for political conjuncture, Oleg Ignatov.

Since coming to Duma Volodin began to show significantly more independence in relations with the Kremlin and the government than the previous speaker. For example, employees of Department of internal policy of presidential administration even before the New year complained that they were no longer allowed into the conference room and they have to watch the broadcast. The Deputy chief of management of internal policy of the Kremlin Sergei Smirnov, who oversaw the interaction with the Federal Assembly, had to leave his post because of dissatisfaction with the first Deputy head of Kremlin administration, Sergei Kiriyenko, told RBC sources.

In addition, Volodin criticized the government for distancing from controversial bills and lobbied for amendments requiring the White house to assess the consequences of laws.

The new speaker, says Ignatov, largely working on their own political future. He wants to prove that he is an independent player, to create the appearance of participation in decision-making and to impose the government and the Kremlin on their agenda, he said.

The resonance laws

Among resonant socio-political laws of the outgoing session — another initiative to toughen protest laws. In late may, the deputies adopted the draft law on equating the meetings of deputies of all levels with the voters to rally. The document was submitted by United Russia after the holding of the 28 January 2017, the action against the Saint Isaac’s Cathedral Russian Orthodox Church. The event was held on the Champ de Mars in the format of the meeting of deputies with voters.

The deputies proposed to prohibit the holding of a meeting with voters deputies of all levels, from local councils to the state Duma without prior approval. After criticism of the initiative from the opposition factions in the document said that the agreement will not be required for meetings with voters in designated areas and on the areas. Another novelty of the document ordered the deputies odnomandatniki to work only with the voters of his district.

If in rare cases, the new Duma was able to slow down legislative initiatives emanating from the security forces (for example, in the case of the project on police use of weapons in the crowd), the lobbying of the authorities of Moscow it is still not withstand. The most discussed in society was the law on the renovation — the demolition of five-story building in Moscow. The problem of dilapidated Khrushchev Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin has raised the 21 February meeting with President Vladimir Putin. The President supported the idea, and soon in the state Duma was introduced the bill on the renovation. It was sponsored by deputies from Moscow. As told RBC sources, the project has been prepared in the city hall. After the adoption of the document in the first reading the state Duma and on the streets of Moscow was organized several protests, the largest of them, may 14, gathered more than 30 thousand participants. In the end, the Duma has seriously revised the bill a second reading.

In the lower house have introduced bills deemed finalized after the comments of the State legal Department (GPU) the President. So it was with the law on deprivation of citizenship for terrorismwhen the original version of the document made by the leaders of all factions disappeared from the database, and then a new version agreed with the presidential administration.

The consideration of the bill regulating the social network, was postponed two days before the end of the session in the fall because of the negative opinion of the GPU, reports “Kommersant”. United Russia Sergei Boyarsky and Mikhail Alshevskih proposed to establish the administration of the social networks are designed to deal with false publications. Boyarsky told RBC that to withdraw the bill they will not, but until the autumn the document will be further developed.

During this session of the state Duma was adopted several bills on regulation of the Internet. They were all made by the deputies of the state Duma, however, told RBC sources in the lower house, the initiatives agreed with the Roskomnadzor. On early adoption of bills governing the messengers and anonymizers, during a closed government hour, the deputies asked the Director of FSB Alexander Bortnikov, told RBC MPs.

The law on the restriction of anonymity on the messengers was passed by the Parliament on the last day of the spring session. Users of messenger will be assigned a subscriber number, for which the organizer messaging and operators must conclude an agreement about the identification. The bill proposes to provide messenger with the technical ability to opt out of receiving messages from other users and to provide the opportunity mailings from authorities.

Another adopted law prohibits the use of technologies that allow access to blocked sites — proxy and VPN services. According to the amendments Roskomnadzor receives the right to block sites, which will contain information about the means of bypassing locks. The bill requires that operators of search engines to stop on the territory of Russia providing links to the information resources included in the list of Roskomnadzor.

One of the most resonant became amendments to the law on the Federal security service (FSS), introduced by the President in February. The law gives the FSO a number of new powers: a special service was granted the right to “temporarily restrict or prohibit the movement of vehicles and pedestrians on the tracks of the passage of state protection”. State protection it may be free to use the airports, airfields, heliports, landing areas, sea and river ports.

But the second reading of the law Novella made by the head of the Duma Committee for security and combating corruption United Russia Vasily by Piscarium. In accordance with the FSO must protect the personal information of high-ranking officials and their relatives. Experts from Transparency International expressed concern that this will lead to the disappearance of all the public registers information on the President, Prime Minister, Prosecutor General, head of the Investigative Committee, the speakers of both chambers of Parliament and the chairmen of the Supreme and constitutional courts, as well as information about their loved ones. The withholding of information will impede the anti-corruption investigations in relation to these figures.

Banned will be information about the places of residence and stay of senior officials because of the need to protect FSS of protected persons from possible threats such as terrorist attacks, said RBC Piskarev.

In the outgoing session, the deputies adopted the resonant bills on family life. Session the deputies opened the bill on the decriminalization of family beating. Criminal liability for a beating of close relatives was introduced by the law signed by the President last summer. The law decriminalizes the beating, but made an exception for cases of domestic violence. However, in November United Russia decided to cancel this rule, citing public outcry and passed a law in late January.

Fearing the negative outcry, the state Duma has refused acceptance of another bill on the behavior of citizens at home. The initiative of United Russia, equates to a disorderly conduct using obscene language at home, was supported by the relevant Committee, but due to public outcry, the deputies refused to pass the draft to a plenary meeting. Amendments to the Code of administrative offences of offering to be fined or arrested for 15 days for the Mat at home, can degrade “the moral climate in the family” and the need for a comprehensive discussion prior to their consideration by the state Duma, said Volodin.

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