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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Zyuganov Criticizes New Bill

Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov warned that a proposal to verify parliamentary candidates' backgrounds may create a "political police," Interfax reported Monday.

The government approved Friday a proposed bill to request more personal information from potential candidates, "for more transparency."

Parliamentary candidates would have to disclose details of their revenues, real-estate holdings and judicial records.

They would also have to provide documents to prove they do not suffer from mental illness, alcoholism or drug abuse.

"We need to know who is going to carry out these controls. If they're done by people under Yegor Gaidar or Anatoly Chubais, many of whom work for the police, such verifications could turn into political reprisals," Zyuganov said.

Gaidar and Chubais, who lead Russia's liberals, are considered the communists' arch enemies.

Zyuganov said that his party's conduct was "honest and clean," and that they were not afraid of verifications.

"A deputy's work must be as transparent as possible for voters," he said.

The background initiative was taken a week after outspoken reformist Deputy Galina Starovoitova was assassinated in St. Petersburg. Chubais and Gaidar have charged Russia's fascists and communists, the so-called "browns and reds" with responsibility for her slaying.

Several newspapers, and Gennady Seleznyov, the speaker of the State Duma, parliament's lower house, have also warned that the proposal could lead to political abuse and human rights violations.

The bill must be approved by the Duma before it can take effect.