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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Senators Approve Rules on Where They Live

www.gazeta-pr.ruVyacheslav Novikov
The Federation Council on Wednesday approved a bill requiring senators to have lived 10 years in the regions they represent in order to serve in the upper chamber.

In their final session before summer recess, senators passed the bill 133-4 with seven abstentions, Interfax reported. It will not affect the status of acting senators.
Nikolai Tulayev
The bill would exempt senators whose professions require them to move a lot, including soldiers, Interior Ministry officers and prosecutors. Such individuals, however, will be required to serve at least 10 years in their respective field.

Despite the overwhelming majority in Wednesday's vote, several senators were sharply critical of the bill, which will now be sent to President Vladimir Putin to be signed into law.

Krasnoyarsk Senator Vyacheslav Novikov called the bill "utterly incomprehensible," noting that it allows exemptions for military and law enforcement officers but not for people in comparably mobile professions, such as diplomats and scientists, Interfax reported.

Kaluga Senator Valery Sudarenkov concurred, calling the exemption rules "totally absurd," Interfax said.

Rules committee head Nikolai Tulayev defended the exemptions and reiterated that bill is first and foremost aimed at shoring up lawmakers' connections to their respective regions, Interfax said.

The bill, proposed by Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov in April, was passed 338-77 in its third reading in the State Duma last week, with opposition coming primarily from the Communist and Liberal Democratic parties.
Valery Sudarenkov
Senators on Wednesday also discussed the possibility of instituting popular elections for Federation Council representatives, Interfax reported.

The Federation Council is made up of two representatives for each of the country's 85 regions.

One is chosen by the regional leader and the other by the regional legislature.

Both serve four-year terms.