Deputy Chairman of the Yabloko
faction in the State Duma announced that it had started
to collect signatures to support the introduction of an
amendment to the Constitution of the RF on direct elections
to Federation Council members.
To be enlisted in the agenda
of the autumn session of the Duma, this issue requires
90 signatures of Duma deputies. Today Deputy Chairman
of the Yabloko faction explained the real state of affairs
to correspondent of "Segodnya" Sergei Miulin.
Question: Sergei Viktorovich,
does the collection of signatures for amendments to the
Constitution imply that Yabloko has left the camp of deputies
who advocate overriding the veto of the Federation Council
on the first draft law from "Putinís package"?
Ivanenko: No, it doesn't. However,
we have spoken about the inquiry to the Constitutional
Court about the interpretation of the article of the Constitution
on the formation of the Federation Council from representatives
of the executive and legislative authorities in the regions.
Here lawyers hold different viewpoints: some say that
there are good grounds for assuming that "formation" includes
the concept of "election". Others say that this is impossible.
Therefore, an exhaustive interpretation is required here.
Naturally, this will open the road to the adoption of
an alternative draft law on the formation of the Federation
Council submitted by Yabloko. The main argument for declining
this draft went as follows: we are virtually in favour,
but we cannot violate the Constitution. In addition the
Federation Council from the very outset - through its
Chairman Yegor Stroyev, and now through their amendment
submitted to the consolatory commission -already states
its preference for direct elections of the governors.
Certainly, they are saying this on the basis of the principle
"it is an ill wind that blows nobody any good". Nevertheless,
this issue is at last going somewhere.
Question: Do you think that
the reform initiated by the President will bring some
Ivanenko: I think so. Most
importantly the key problems of Russia, such as the Federation
structure, the governorsí status and relationships between
the centre and regions, have finally been raised and discussed.
Speaking about the veto, we are proceeding from the premise
that the present law is a half-step (on the way to an
elected Senate) and it should be valid not for a very
long period of time. Question: Do you mean that this will
be a kind of transitional provision? Ivanenko: Yes. When
we decided to support the presidential draft, we proceeded
from the premise that it was still better than what we
Question: Will the presidential
initiative on the creation of the State Council complicate
Ivanenko: The State Council
as an advisory body is not a problem. There are a large
number of different councils under the President: on womenís
affairs, local government. As the heads of the regions
will be represented in the State Council, this body will
be significant, but it will not play an independent constitutional
Interviewer: Sergei Miulin