Newly elected Duma opens

Source: AFP / East News

Source: AFP / East News

Russia’s newly elected 6th Duma has opened. This is the first time, Russia’s State Duma has been elected for a term of five years.

It features the same four factions but the ruling United Russia has lost its constitutional majority. United Russia members still hold the positions of Duma speakers and heads of 15 committees while the remaining 14 posts are shared by the opposition.


Sergey Naryshkin, ex-head of the President’s Administration, has been elected speaker. He outrun Communist Ivan Melnikov, Liberal Democrat Vladimir Zhirinovsky and the head of A Just Russia Sergei Mironov.


Naryshkin said that his work is aimed at boosting respect for Russia’s supreme executive power. The new parliament –is a place for serious discussions, believes the new speaker.


"Parliamentary majority doesn’t mean monopoly. The Duma can be efficient only if all opinions are taken into account and the parties are conducting a constant dialogue which is to provide for a successful legislative process. We should pay constant attention to public concerns such as social justice, respect for human dignity and freedom are essential for Russia’s future."


United Russia has emphasized its priorities in the Duma, namely protecting people from a financial crisis, adopting bills that will  improve the living standards and conducting further political reforms. The party’s main allies seem to be the Communists. Their leader Gennady Zyuganov has already stated that the new Duma’s main goal is to achieve economic stability


"We have strong leaders capable of pulling the country out of a crisis. However, the budget surplus can be reached only through  the nationalization of natural and mineral resources."


The Liberal Democrats plan to improve election legislation to develop freedom and democracy in the country, says the leader of the faction Vladimir Zhirinovsky.


"Russians are not happy  just because they have enough food, they want more democracy, truth and objectivity. We should announce a general political, criminal and economic amnesty, not to hear words like arrest, imprisonment and capture. Look at the recent rallies-they were peaceful. So I urge everyone to uphold freedom and democracy."


A Just Russia is focused on social-economic measures,  that is limiting natural monopolies and introducing progressive taxation. It’s time for changes, says Sergey Mironov


"The people of Russia demand changes and they will get them. The new Duma should undertake at least some measures that are anticipated by the pubic and suspend those reforms which hit the social economic sphere and even state security. I mean the Unified State Exam."


The 6th Duma will have two first deputy speakers - Alexander Zhukov of Untied Russia and Communist Ivan Melnikov. The parliament will also have six deputy speakers –four from United Russia, one from A  Just Russia and one Liberal Democrat.


Half of the deputies in the 6th Duma are freshmen but they have no time to adjust –on December 22 President Medvedev will   traditionally address the parliament   and MPs will have to begin turning his words into practice.


Originally published at The Voice of Russia

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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