‘Unpatriotic’: Russian MPs who spent month abroad may be stripped of powers

Lawmaker Ivan Nikitchuk (Communist Party), first deputy chair of the Russian State Duma Committee for Natural Resources, has proposed stripping members of parliament who lived abroad for over a month without valid excuse of their powers, Izvestia newspaper writes on Monday.

Under the law, an MP can step down by filing a written request citing an offer of a federal or municipal position, change of citizenship, enforcement of the verdict of guilty, in case of incapacitation or death, if s/he has been proved to hold an executive position in a commercial company or a managerialpost at a foreign NGO, or if s/he keeps money and valuables in foreign banks outside Russia.

“The MPs who miss house sessions without good reason, who don’t work with their electorate and who have lived outside Russia for over a month should be stripped of their powers,” Izvestia writes, citing Nikitchuk.

According to Nikitchuk, MP Illya Ponomaryov who ‘has been in the USA for long’ and is known for his critisizing Vladimir Putin and annexation of Crimea, should be strippedof powers for his ‘anti-Russian activity’.

The MP pointed out that, considering the current budget deficit and Western restrictions, the lawmakers’ long stay abroad not only costs the budget but also undermines the country’s prestige.

In October 2014, a working group was established at the State Duma committees on constitutional law and on procedure to decide if remuneration should be paid to the MPs who miss house sessions and do not work on its committees.

www.belsat.eu/en, following Russian Legal Information Agency

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