The adoption of this law was extremely behind the scenes, its discussion was drowned in resonant discussions about the Moscow budget and was not covered in the media. If a number of deputies had not addressed us to the editorial office, we most likely would not have known about him.
The front of the law is fashionable and solid: anti-corruption legislation. Proposing to deprive the deputies of their mandate because of some inconsistencies with this legislation, United Russia deputy Andrei Semennikov referred to the experience of France in the 18th century, where Emperor Louis the 16th was executed by a decision of parliament. “That is, there are precedents in history. But we are humanists and we will not execute, but simply deprive us of the mandate,” the deputy grinned.
What is this about?
The current law was adopted on the basis of another legal act. We are talking about a law with a long title "On the General Principles of Organizing Public Power in the Subjects of the Russian Federation", prepared by Senator Andrei Klishas and State Duma Deputy Pavel Krasheninnikov.
“The law of Klishas and Krasheninnikov, in accordance with which we will bring regional legislation for a long time, is a political law, it is about the destruction of the system of local government and the principles of federalism. All the tools for anti-corruption control of deputies already exist: these are investigative actions, law enforcement standards, court decisions. The process of fighting corruption must be depoliticized. These amendments politicize it, because they transfer the issues of evaluating the actions of deputies to the majority of deputies, that is, the party in power. A mechanism is being created when the political majority gets the opportunity to crack down on the opposition, ”Maxim Kruglov, deputy of the Moscow State Duma from the Yabloko party, told NI.
Deputy Sergei Mitrokhin agrees with him: “This is a way of cracking down on independent deputies, opposition deputies, maybe even whole factions. If United Russia has the majority, then this majority will naturally use such a procedure in order to settle scores with political opponents.”
Why did the opposition have such concerns? The fact is that the reverse side of this law looks at least mysterious. Based on some data received from "informed sources" - from deputies, the media, the prosecutor's office - in relation to people's choices, they will be able to begin the procedure for depriving them of their mandate. However, Andrey Semennikov, a representative of the ruling party in the Moscow State Duma, outlined the scheme as follows: “At the plenary session, the deputies decide whether there are actually legal grounds for deprivation of powers, and the decision itself is considered based on the results of an audit by the control commission. In accordance with the Federal Law, liability is required for single violations of certain requirements . But what these requirements are, where they are listed, by whom they are compiled, we have not been able to find out. As of today, there is no exact list of acts that are incompatible with parliamentary activity. And this means that the mandate can be deprived for anything.
“Don’t you think it’s a vicious practice when a limited number of people, measured in dozens in the commissions of the Moscow City Duma, can deprive the powers of a people’s representative - a person who has been elected by thousands of people?” - asks Evgeny Stupin, a member of the Moscow State Duma Commission on Economics and Social Policy.
The question arises: do these amendments have anything to do with the fight against corruption? After all, our businessmen, who came to the Moscow City Duma, transferred all property to their relatives long ago, and, of course, they have nothing to be afraid of. “When we went to the Moscow City Duma, we understood everything and agreed to certain restrictions,” said Elena Nikolaeva, a deputy of the United Russia party, better known in the country as a business woman and patron of low-rise and cottage construction, from the rostrum of the Moscow State Duma.
There is absolutely no doubt that there will be no compromising evidence against United Russia member Elena Nikolaeva. But the risk that some undeclared barn will be found from representatives of Yabloko or the opposition Elena Shuvalova is quite large.
“I regard this law as a transition from control over the activities of deputies in the field of financial and property relations to the political persecution of objectionable people. In addition, this law is contrary to the Constitution: the main bearer of power in the country, based on the Constitution, is the people. And the Moscow City Duma takes these rights and transfers them to Shaposhnikov's commission. Previously, it was a commission for the control of reliable information about property, now it is just a commission for control, ” deputy Elena Shuvalova told NI.
This law did not fall from the sky, it has already been adopted in Karelia. And now, with a victory, he has reached Moscow. “Indeed, in Karelia, when false data is found in the tax declaration, a deputy commission is assembled, and if deliberate concealment of income is found, it is submitted for consideration. At the regional level, restrictions on the rights of deputies in case of violation of anti-corruption legislation may be introduced. Politically, this can be assessed in different ways. There are a lot of nuances here, for example, is it possible to deprive deputy powers for an unaccounted for old garage or an incorrectly privatized apartment? For Moscow, this is an unusual move, but it is not the first in the country, ” political lawyer Oleg Zakharov told NI.
On the basis of this law, the speaker of the Yaroslavl City Duma has already paid with his seat. The City Duma dismissed and deprived the mandate of United Russia member Pavel Zarubin, who did not indicate in the income statement the garage inherited from his father. This is the first case of the dismissal of the speaker of the meeting of the regional center on anti-corruption legislation. Zarubin himself regarded this as a "political reprisal." Claims against Pavel Zarubin at the prosecutor's office arose in connection with the garage box, which he inherited after the death of his father. The ex-speaker himself stated that he never used this garage and, proceeding from the fact that the property does not belong to him, did not indicate it in the income statement. Zarubin himself linked the initiative to deprive him of his mandate with his confrontation with Yaroslavl Mayor Vladimir Sleptsov.
At the same time, lawyers agree that with a correct and scrupulous approach to filling in income declarations, serious problems should not arise for people's deputies.
“Of course, it cannot be ruled out that this law will be used for political purposes. Obviously, this norm was not adopted for the triumph of justice. If an opposition MP finds unrecorded property, a scandal will arise with consequences. But tax returns are checked by the prosecutor's office. If any inconsistencies are identified, an ethics commission is convened. Somewhere this is the basis for deprivation of the mandate, somewhere not. One way or another, the prosecutor's office receives information about the concealment of property. When the speaker of the Yaroslavl City Duma was removed for not taking into account the old garage, the prosecutor's office took an active position. Without the support of the prosecutor's office, this cannot happen. So it is difficult to call all this a purely political action. In some cases, this, probably, can serve as a mechanism for depriving the mandate of those who are objectionable. But, on the other hand, if you carefully fill out the tax return, there should not be overlaps. In Karelia, for example, there were about a dozen identified inconsistencies with property, but not a single case of deprivation of a mandate, ” political lawyer Oleg Zakharov told NI.
It seems that the fight against corruption in our country will end up with the exposure of an unaccounted dilapidated garage or an undeclared penny cashback. And the shadow business owners will remain with their United Russia mandates and brand violators with shame.