Russian State Duma likely to be dismissed

Deputies are not ready to resign and run again

State Duma speaker Boris Gryzlov rejected the rumors about a possible dismissal of the lower house of the Russian parliament. “The Duma is working effectively, it approves important bills, and there is no need to speak of its dismissal,” Gryzlov said.

Russian media outlets have recently reported that the State Duma could be dissolved and reelected again after the new draft law is passed about the introduction of the proportional electoral system in Russia.

Boris Gryzlov said that the parliamentary elections would take place as it was previously scheduled – not earlier than in 2007. “Such a suggestion is not being discussed at the Duma. It has been probably initiated by certain forces,” Boris Gryzlov stated. It is not clear, which particular forces Gryzlov implied, although one may say now that the rumors about the dismissal of the Russian parliament had been launched to ruin the plans on passing the law about the proportional system of elections. Two hundred and twenty-five single-mandate deputies are not ready to resign, when the law is approved. Initiators of the rumors about prescheduled elections decided to play a game on their fears.

”The Duma will not be dissolved. The Duma approves all laws that the president needs. It conducts normal work from the president's point of view. Even if some deputies or factions disagree with the president regarding a gubernatorial candidacy nominated by him, one may intimidate the Duma. The Duma is being rather obedient now, although nobody knows how it would behave in the event it is dissolved and reelected. That is why I think that it will finish its term on time,” Maksim Dianov, the director of the institute for regional issues told Pravda.Ru.

Duma's vice speaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky also believes that the present-day Duma of the fourth convocation will work until its term ends and will not be dissolved. “Everything will happen when time comes, nothing will change, everything will be held within the framework of democracy,” Zhirinovsky told reporters yesterday. Another vice speaker of the Duma, Oleg Morozov, believes that the rumors do not have any sense at all: “First off, the United Russia party is enjoying a very good position in the State Duma now. It would be absurd for them to bid farewell to it. Secondly, any election represents a lottery in its essence. It is impossible to guarantee that the current success will be repeated. Finally, the new elections to the Duma will be very complicated for United Russia, if the elections are based on the proportional system. The number of deputies in the faction today has been achieved owing to single-mandate deputies,” Morozov said in an interview with the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper.

The Nezavisimaya Gazeta was the first newspaper that published the rumors about the possible dismissal of the parliament. According to the publication, if parliamentary elections took place earlier, they would coincide with the period when the question “who is going to be the new head of state” will have its answer. “If parliamentary elections take place in compliance with a new law and ahead of the scheduled time, the majority of parties will not be able to take part in them, I think,” Irina Khakamada said. “It will be a way to set up a one-party parliament,” she added.

Alexander Shokhin, the president of the economic school, shares Khakamada's opinion: “A lot of parties are developing very slowly, they do not start any unifying processes, they do not renew their administrations either. United Russia will definitely have an advantage at this point, because it is a stable party. The Communist Party, as well as LDPR and Rodina, can be equally prepared to run.”

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Author`s name Olga Savka