Bureaucrats Should Take Constitution Exam, Naryshkin Says

The speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament said in an op-ed published Tuesday that the country's politicians are too ignorant about the Constitution and that civil servants should be made to pass an exam on it before they can enter government service.

The Constitution "has ceased to be required reading for many politicians and bureaucrats," said State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin in a piece published in government daily newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta. "But who said that today, knowledge of the basic law has become less necessary?"

Naryshkin said that legal knowledge was undervalued among Russian lawmakers. He proposed a mandatory constitutional exam for everyone entering civil service.

He said that the first test for legislators could be held next June.

Russia will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the introduction of the Constitution, which was adopted after the fall of the Soviet Union, on Dec. 12.