This last week is remarkable for a large number of the news. One of the central news events happened in the upper house of the Russian Federation Legislative Assembly – the appointment of the new speaker of the Federation Council. The press was not really active in its comments on the matter, though.
Here is another big news. The leader of the parliamentary fraction “Federation,” Valery Goreglyad, summed up the results of the faction’s work in the Federation Council and said the faction had executed its goal and it would be transformed into a club.
Federation as a faction was set up in March of this year. There are over a hundred of senators included in the group: the governors and the senators, who represent the interests of their governors. The goals, set for the group, were very clear: to guarantee the support of the president’s political course and to participate in the legislative process on all stages of the lawmaking work.
At that time the Federation Council was an evasive formation of the governors and spokesmen for the regions. So there was a need in a certainty that all “doubtful” laws (from the point of view of the interests of the Federation units) would be definitely passed. This basically covered the documents pertaining to Putin's reforms. It was needed to gather all the senators “under the president's banner” and make them vote in a consolidated way. The faction Federation coped with that role rather successfully. The second task for the group was about Yegor Stroyev’s influence on the members of the Federation Council: the faction had to bring his influence to nothing, or at least balance it. The reform of the Federation Council’s staff was made up in order to cope with that task. The members of the faction were constantly touching upon that issue during their communication with the media. However, not all senators could clearly explain the necessity of such an arrangement. It basically became about the only thing: the Federation Council staff had too much power and there was only one person using that power – Yegor Stroyev.
The staff reform of the Federation Council provided for a change of the regulations, which in its turn, considerably reduced the influence of the speaker. This was exactly, what the members of the groups were striving for. The new speaker of the Council – Sergey Mironov does not have to be afraid of anything – his authorities are not going to be restricted. The package of the documents, which were developed by the members of the faction, will most likely be thrown into the bin, or changed fundamentally. The authorities will remain the way they were.
Sergey Mironov will take all the power levels in his hands and there is now no need in any other changes – Mironov is a president's guy.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2001/12/07/34629.html