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© RIA Novosti. Aleksey Nikolskyi

Putin calls for general-public initiatives to be considered by State Duma

by Alina Lobzina at 06/02/2012 16:42

 

The Russian parliament is to take proposals put forward by the general public seriously, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin wrote in a new article published four weeks ahead of the March 4 vote that he is widely expected to win.

Initiatives, endorsed by at least 100,000 people, are to become obligatory for the State Duma to discuss, his wordy piece “Democracy and the Quality of State” in Monday’s Kommersant read.

The prime minister has also proposed making the long-lasting fight with corruption a “nationwide cause,” but added that repressive methods were best avoided.

Internet-savvy folks, who, undeterred by biting frosts took to the streets of Moscow on Saturday, have already started wondering how quickly they will be able to collect the required amount of signatures for to put forward an initiative for Putin to resign, according to the Fair Election movement’s facebook page.

 

More transparent governance

Putin’s ideas on developing Russia’s e-democracy and corruption were unveiled two days after the biggest anti-Putin rally yet was staged in Moscow as well as smaller protests all over the country.

“We have to be able to react to the public’s requests, which are getting more complicated, and in this ‘information era’ environment they acquire new traits,” he wrote.

The country’s governance has to become more transparent – appointing the head of the Audit Chamber by the State Duma, and not the president, and complete financial disclosure for people working in “corruption-prone” posts are to boost that.

An “active right” to form the legislative agenda could be granted through a special system, where people need to register, according to Putin. 

“Of course the anonymous internet is not good for that, although sometimes it helps to understand public sentiments,” the prime minister, who confessed he doesn’t use the Internet very often during his Q&A session in December, wrote.

 

People more demanding of government

President Dmitry Medvedev proposed to bring back direct vote for regional heads and submitted a respective bill in December, shortly after the first mass protests against alleged election rigging were held in Russia’s major cities.

But thousands of people demanding Putin be sacked, among other calls, were a result of the work the prime minister and the president did together, according to his article.

“We’ve worked on that,” he wrote.  

Putin’s previous articles were on his achievements in “leading the country out of a dead end,” nationalism and his view on the economy.  

 

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