Russian government survives no-confidence vote

A no-confidence motion on the Mikhail Kasyanov government, initiated by the Communists and originally backed by the pro-Kremlin Yedinstvo faction, failed yesterday. Only 127 deputies supported it at a plenary session of the State Duma. 76 deputies voted against it with 5 abstentions. Because several factions boycotted the voting, only 208 deputies took part in the vote. 266 votes were required to dismiss the Cabinet. The result was quite predictable. However, the Narodny Deputat (People’s Deputy) group and the Yedinstvo (Unity) faction proposed to refuse from discussing a matter on the government’s resignation at the beginning of the Duma’s session. Such proposal was not supported by the rest of the factions. The debates and the voting were rather stormy, according to RBC. First, Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov took the floor and declared that Russia will be unable to overcome the crisis and “fit in a new epoch” with the government of Mikhail Kasyanov. The Communists were inspired by the “understanding of the tragedy of the country,” Mr. Zyuganov noted. In his opinion, the Cabinet of Ministers took “Yeltsin’s destructive course,” and “the government continues fulfilling a role of a guard protecting interests of several oligarchs.” The Communist leader declared the reforms of German Gref which are being implemented by the government now “an economy of genocide.” Only leader of the Agrarian deputy group Nikolai Kharitonov supported the Communists. However, neither the Communists nor the Agrarians impressed the rest of the deputies. The Yedinstvo (Unity) faction had changed their minds by then and came out to actively back the government. Leader of the liberal Union of Right Forces (SPS) faction Boris Nemtsov called all accusations put forward by the Communists against the government “absolutely groundless.” However, he emphasized that if the Cabinet “doesn’t decide on its course, centrist and right factions will raise a question concerning the government’s resignation in the fall, and the results of a voting will be different.” First Deputy Leader of the Yabloko faction Sergei Ivanenko supported Mr. Nemtsov.The ultra-nationalist LDPR and centrist Fatherland-All Russian factions made a similar decision. As a result, the no-confidence vote on the government failed, so the ministers may continue to carry out their duties for the time being.

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