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Dmitri Chernov

Duma Jugglings

"Vremya MN", April 19, 2002

A large scandal is rising in the Duma again. Deputy Head of the YABLOKO faction Sergei Ivanenko stated that when preparing the draft law "On Citizenship" for the third reading the document was falsified.

Today deputies of the Duma will have to finally adopt in the third reading this draft law. However, according to Ivanenko, the amendment supported by the majority in the second reading was unscrupulously substituted by another version. The initial amendment was offered by YABLOKO deputies Sergei Popov and Igor Artemyev and supported by the representative of the President in the State Duma Alexander Kotenkov and adopted by 396. It granted the disabled parent whose child has Russian citizenship of to obtain Russian citizenship in a simplified order, regardless of the term of residence in the RF and other conditions. However, due to this substitution, if parliament members adopt the law in its current version, hundreds of thousands will lose their right to Russian citizenship: this will become impossible.

It is interesting to note that Ivanenko is not absolutely certain that most of the Duma will support his faction on this issue, but he is not going to surrender. In an interview with the MN-Novosti correspondent he made the following statement, "We are sure that the nature of the law is absolutely tough and repressive towards our compatriots. Moreover, even the procedure for preparing the draft for the third reading is scandalous, as our amendments that were supported by the Duma were simply substituted by another version. This is inadmissible. Now we will insist that the law be removed from today's readings and that the text be rewritten in accordance with the decision of the Duma in the second reading." It may transpire the Ivanenko is mistaken when saying that he may not find allies among Duma deputies. First, the YABLOKO faction will be supported by the Union of Right-Wing Forces faction. Second, they unexpectedly found allies in the Duma leadership. First Deputy Speaker of the Duma Lyubov Sliska said, in an interview with the Vremya-MN correspondent, that the chamber would investigate this matter by all means. According to Sliska, "we cannot simply have such a situation when an amendment is scandalously substituted, as after the situation with the amnesty in 2000 documents are prepared extremely carefully. I think that the substitution of the amendment is simply unacceptable. Even if it really was substituted by another version everything will be restored as voted by the Duma."

The Deputy Speaker realises too well that if falsification did take place, the court can recognise the law that has already been adopted (and there are such precedents) as unconstitutional in view of the procedure governing its adoption.

See also:

The YABLOKO faction of the State Duma of the RF.
Statement on the draft law "On Citizenship in the Russian Federation". April 17, 2002.

MK-Novosti Information Agency. April 19, 2002.
Grigory Yavlinsky insists on removing the draft law on citizenship in the RF from the third reading in the Duma and drafting it in accordance with the text adopted in the second reading.

"Vremya MN", April 19, 2002

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