12 Oct 2021 12:22

Volodin elected speaker of 8th State Duma

MOSCOW. Oct 12 (Interfax) - Vyacheslav Volodin has been elected the speaker of the 8th State Duma.

The new parliament made the decision at its first meeting on Tuesday.

Dmitry Novikov, nominated for the speakership by the Russian Communist Party, failed to gain a sufficient number of votes.

Volodin won the votes of 360 of the 421 deputies, while 61 voted for Novikov.

Volodin has been the speaker of the State Duma since October 2016, serving in the 7th State Duma. He was elected a Duma deputy in 1999, served as a deputy speaker between 2007 and 2010, became a deputy prime minister in 2010, and was appointed Kremlin first deputy chief of staff in 2011.

Russian President Vladimir Putin supported Volodin's nomination for speaker of the 8th State Duma at a meeting with the heads of the parties that won the parliamentary elections on September 25.

Moreover, United Russia's Alexander Zhukov and the Russian Communist Party's Ivan Melnikov were elected first deputy speakers of the new State Duma.

Alexei Gordeyev, Anna Kuznetsova, Irina Yarovaya, Pyotr Tolstoy, Sergei Neverov, and Sholban Kara-ool will be deputy speakers representing the parliamentary majority.

Alexander Babakov will be a deputy speaker from A Just Russia - For Truth, Boris Chernyshov will be a deputy speaker from the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, and Vladislav Davankov will be a deputy speaker from New People.

Speaking at the first plenary session of the new convocation of the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, Volodin indicated five main areas of parliamentary activity.

"First of all, our work should focus on the agenda of national development, the achievement of national targets, and the implementation of presidential addresses to the Federal Assembly," Volodin said at the first meeting of the 8th State Duma on Tuesday.

The State Duma will be working on those issues in October, while considering the budget law, he said.

"Despite a variety of views and approaches to the achievement of targets and the belonging to different parties," State Duma members have common objectives, such as higher living standards, an economic growth, security and the provision of Russia's sovereignty, Volodin said.

He proposed that State Duma members rely on that course, in particular, while representing Russia in inter-parliamentary unions and international organizations.

Secondly, Volodin called for providing the ability of all five factions to participate in the discussion and adoption of laws.

"In that connection, I believe it would be right to continue discussions of bills, which all factions view as a priority, at plenary meetings of the State Duma. This approach will ensure the discussion of initiatives of all parliamentary parties," he said.

Thirdly, Volodin called for increasing the number of direct-action laws, "which will improve the quality of lawmaking and the efficiency of implementing laws."

For comparison, the share of direct-action laws increased from 53.9% in 2017 to 67.5% to the middle of 2021, he said.

Volodin proposed that deputy speakers overseeing the activity of committees be tasked with doing so.

Fourthly, Volodin called for developing dialogue on all items on the agenda with civil society, regions, experts, professional unions and businesses.

"Fifthly, we need to elaborate proposals on raising the responsibility of deputies for their obligations to voters. We also need work reports. It would be right to discuss these matters together and put them into life," Volodin said.