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
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
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.