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Press release, 31.05.2000


Elena Mizulina proposes direct elections for members of the Federation Council

The reform of the Federation Council proposed by President Putin is long overdue, said Elena Mizulina (the Yabloko faction) on May 31 in her co-report to the Duma on the draft law On the Procedure for Forming the Federation Council.

She reminded the house that in July 1995 both the chambers of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation adopted a law stipulating direct elections of Federation Council members by secret ballot.

The law also stipulated that the members of the Federation Council could not combine their work in parliament with implementation of their duties as heads of regional administrations and their legislative assemblies: in addition they were not allowed to head business companies.

Mizulina also recalled that in August 1995 the President of the Russian Federation revoked this law, and that in December 1995 another law was adopted, which is the basis for the current Federation. At present the heads of administrations of federation subjects and the speakers of their legislative assemblies are members of the Federation Council. Mizulina has characterised the law on the formation of the Federation Council in force since December 1995 as turning everything upside down. Five years ago a precedent was created at federal level, when the new democratic

Constitution, the principle for division of the executive and the legislative authorities were virtually turned upside down, stressed Mizulina.

She also said that due to this law we obtained a shapeless loose federation instead of a strong Russia.

Elena Mizulina stressed that the legislative initiative of President Putin ?breaks this vicious circle. At the same time she noted that an alternative draft on the formation of the Federation Council had been developed by Elena Mizulina and some other deputies of the Duma and had also been submitted to the Duma.

Mizulina stressed that in no circumstances can the alternative draft be regarded as a ?reaction to the presidential legislative, initiative as it had been submitted to the Duma as early as December 1999.

Elena Mizulina said that the common features of the two drafts were that they were supposed to create provisions for the permanent professional functioning of the Federation Council.

However, the main difference can be summed up as follows: the alternative draft proposes nation-wide elections of the two members of the Federation Council from each federation subjects; whereas the presidential draft stipulates that the members of the Federation Council should be elected by regional legislative assemblies. Based on Interfax reports.