State Duma refused to put governors away for spending on self-praise
Regional heads will not face criminal responsibility for the waste of budget funds for self-praise.
The Council of the State Duma refused to approve the bill on criminal liability for governors, who spend the budget for the public information sharing about their activities, according to Vedomosti. At the suggestion of the initiative's authors, co-chairman of the Central Staff of the All-Russia People’s Front (ONF) Olga Timofeeva (Edinaya Rossiya), Mikhail Degtyarev (LDPR), Alexander Yushchenko (Communist Party) and Alexander Burkov (Spravedlivaya Rossiya), officials, who spend more than 1.5 million rubles for self-praise, may face up a penalty of up to 500 thousand rubles or imprisonment for up to five years.
Examining documents, government employees and the Supreme Court proposed to replace the criminal liability for administrative. The deputies did not take into account views of their colleagues and introduced the bill. Subsequently, the Government also came to the conclusion on the rationality of severe punishment proposing to extend them to the heads of local governments, but members of the Parliament did not make amendments.
However, on Tuesday, the State Duma Council in conjunction with the steering Committee for State Construction and Legislation came to the conclusion that the bill should revert to the authors because of the lack of "official comments of the Government and the Supreme Court." The initiators of the bill have not been able to clearly explain the reason of the refusal saying that the criminal responsibility was not planned.
Interlocutor of the edition claims that among the reasons for the rejection of the initiative there is a negative review of the Supreme Court.
Political analyst Mikhail Vinogradov says that the rejection of the bill will improve relations between the ONF and regional authorities, who are very unhappy because of the constant criticism of their activity.
Another political analyst Konstantin Kalachev notes that the main purpose of the initiative is to inform governors that the replacement of real activity with empty words is unacceptable. The ONF received self-praise from this initiative. The expert says that at the moment governors cannot be deprived of information tools in work with the population. In addition, heads of the regions can apply for support to new heads of the Presidential Administration, which would lead to a clash of First Deputy Head Kiriyenko and State Duma Speaker Volodin.
Preliminary hearings of the case pertaining to embezzlements committed during the construction of notorious Zenit Arena haven’t commenced yet – but the trial of Marat Oganesyan already ceased to be monotonous. The former Deputy Head of the St. Petersburg Municipal Administration has directly hinted at the involvement of his successor – current Vice Governor Albin – in the embezzlement of billions of rubles.