“The parliament will turn into a club now”

The speaker of the Duma, Gennady Seleznyov, will not have the right to vote at the sessions of the Council of the House anymore. This decision was made today as a result of a wild discussion. Two hundred and forty-five deputies voted for the decision, and 159 were against it. From now on, the leaders of all parliamentary associations, factions, and groups will have a casting vote. Seleznyov will only have a deliberative vote, although he will remain the speaker of the parliament, making decisions about agendas and so on.

The discussion to make such an amendment to the regulations of the parliament took place in Gennady Seleznyov’s absence. Seleznyov was at the Central Bank, having earlier said that he was hoping that the deputies would make a reasonable decision.

The initiative to deprive Seleznyov of his voting right originated from the representatives of the centrist factions of the parliament. They believe that Seleznyov’s additional tenth vote (Gennady Seleznyov is a member of the communist party) was giving a serious advantage to communists.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s faction LDPR (Liberal and Democratic Party of Russia) supported the idea totally. All the members of his faction gathered in the hall to participate in the discussion. The deputies from Fatherland-All Russia, Unity, and People’s Deputy were also unanimous for depriving Seleznyov of his right to vote. The communists and the deputies of the agrarian faction voted against that decision, together with Yabloko’s deputies.

The chairman of the parliament is not happy about the decision, which was “political repression.” The speaker believes that the deputies infringed upon his constitutional rights and the parliament “would become a deputy club,” in which only the factions will solve all the issues. Seleznyov said that he had used his deciding vote only a few times.

Another initiative of the centrist factions will be to “shake up the committees and administrative personnel of the parliament.” However, this does not mean that all these things will improve the work of the parliament. Time will show.

Gennady Seleznyov left today for Spain on an official visit to have a meeting with the Spanish King.

Sergey Yugov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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