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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Duma Suit Denied

MOSCOW -- The Constitutional Court on Thursday struck down a suit by State Duma deputies challenging the scope of the president's powers to disband parliament.

The court ruled that from the moment a presidential decree disbanding parliament is official published, lawmakers are stripped of their posts. The ruling was a response to a suit filed by Duma deputies arguing that a disbanded Duma ought to instead keep functioning until a new Duma could be elected - because the Constitution says parliament is supposed to be a permanent standing body.

The suit was filed in February - at a time when the first fears arose that President Boris Yeltsin would sack Yevgeny Primakov's government. Had Yeltsin offered the Duma an utterly unpalatable candidate, and had the Duma rejected that candidate three times, Yeltsin could then have disbanded parliament under the Constitution.

The Court also Thursday opened hearings into the conflict between the president and the Federation Council over suspended Prosecutor General Yury Skuratov. The Federation Council mounted the court challenge to Yeltsin's Apr. 2 decree suspending Skuratov, on grounds that hiring, firing and suspensions of prosecutor generals are powers reserved to the upper house of parliament.