10 Mar 2020 12:48

Russian MPs to debate proposal on early Duma election - Volodin

MOSCOW. March 10 (Interfax) - An initiative of holding an early election to the State Duma will be debated after necessary preparations, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said.

"Today, we've heard a proposal from Alexander Karelin, who invited us to review his legislative initiative. It should be prepared and circulated at the session hall in accordance with the rules of procedure. We'll debate it then," Volodin said at the chamber's session on Tuesday.

Karelin said earlier on Tuesday that an early State Duma election should be organized after the lower chamber of the Russian parliament gets new powers stipulated by constitutional amendments.

"I believe it would be fair to hold an early election in the context of our new capacities," Karelin said.

Russian Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky also proposed that an early State Duma election be held after the nationwide voting on constitutional amendments.

"We support the amendments because this is our country," Zhirinovsky told the press on Tuesday.

An early Duma election should be held after the updated constitution takes effect upon the nationwide voting due in April, he said.

"There is need for a new parliament with updated powers," Zhirinovsky said.

He proposed holding an early State Duma election on the unified voting day on September 20, 2020.

"On September 20 of this year, on the unified voting day, on the third Sunday of September," Zhirinovsky told the press on Tuesday speaking of the possibility of an early Duma election.

The initiative got support from A Just Russia party. "An early election would be useful for our party," A Just Russia leader Sergei Mironov said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Russian Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov called an early election of the State Duma inexpedient.

"Let us deal with the coronavirus and the ruble fall first," Zyuganov told the press on Tuesday.

The State Duma will consider the presidential bill on the constitutional amendments in the second reading on Wednesday.

A total of 387 amendments were received before the second reading. Two hundred of them were proposed for adoption, with 177 proposed for rejection.

A special working group comprising State Duma and Federation Council members, public figures, and experts darted the majority of the amendments. Russia's president also made amendments to the bill.

The State Duma adopted the bill in the first reading on January 23.