The deputies considered the disclosure of declarations a reason for persecution

The State Duma voted in the second reading to close the declarations of parliamentarians for public access. At the plenary session, the bill was supported by 325 deputies, 21 deputies abstained, another 25 voted against. In the third reading, the bill will be considered on January 25. Then it must be approved by the Federation Council and signed by the President.

The bill was presented at the plenary session by one of its authors, Pavel Krasheninnikov, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on State Construction of United Russia. He recalled that the bill was introduced on December 1, 2022, and was adopted in the first reading on December 20. Initially, it concerned the fact that regional and municipal deputies working on a non-permanent basis should not submit declarations. “We know that often the declarations themselves served as a pretext for persecution and even the basis for deprivation of authority,” Krasheninnikov was indignant. According to him, 18 amendments for adoption and 10 amendments for rejection were received for the second reading.

Chief among them is the refusal to publish mandatory declarations of State Duma deputies and senators. About it January 23 wrote "Vedomosti".

Now the State Duma and the Federation Council will decide how to make this information public. But an amendment is being made to the law on the status of a senator and a deputy, so that information should be published in a “generalized” form, without indicating personal data - that is, indicating the names and surnames of deputies. Krasheninnikov said that parliamentarians would submit declarations, but “we are talking about the fact that, given the public status and uniform rules, all the same, the publication should be generalized, and not publication about the specific personal data of a particular deputy.” At the same time, according to Krasheninnikov, "we are not talking about reducing control." “As colleagues like to say, they usually declare what can be shown. If some stories are illegal, then, of course, they are not in the field of publication, they are in the criminal law sphere, and there are quite clear grounds,” the deputy believes.

Deputy Aleksey Kurinny (KPRF) began to argue with Krasheninnikov, who recalled that it was not initially intended that the procedure for providing information on State Duma deputies would change, as is done now. According to him, the previous order did not raise questions, but now it will be different - in the State Duma, the Federation Council and regional parliaments. The communist was outraged by the publication of information in a generalized form without personal data. “Specifically, a person should be responsible for what he does. Did not provide [декларацию] on time, made some mistakes, forgot some property - let Ivanov Ivan Ivanovich specifically answer, and not so that his face was without personal data and without the possibility of identification, ”he said. Krasheninnikov recalled that each body has a corresponding structure that deals with declarations and conducts verification, and this will continue: “Does this declaration correspond to the real state of affairs? And is it real, or fictitious, as sometimes happens? But the media will not give the results of the checks, since “we are talking about the protection of personal data,” he specified.

Kurinny was also supported by the communist Andrei Alekhin, who said that he had been a deputy of the legislature of the Omsk region for 27 years and that there had never been any problems with the publication of declarations. According to him, the main problem is that businessmen go to regional deputies to lobby their interests: “And when they are published, everything is immediately visible there - the number of apartments, income, etc. You propose to remove it, I think it is completely wrong.” Krasheninnikov retorted that whoever has how many apartments is a private matter, "as long as they were acquired legally." “I don't know what significant part of the business you are talking about. But we have quite a lot of businesses, including small and medium-sized ones, that behave quite responsibly. And I assure you, they are not only there to steal something. If they go for this, we have the norms of the Criminal Code,” Krasheninnikov said. Further, the deputy stated that if a person makes illegal transactions, then this is not shown in the declarations.

Kurinny, on the other hand, said that many citizens vote "based on a class approach", so if a candidate is "the owner of factories, newspapers, steamships", then this can influence the result of the vote. If a person hides it, then it is wrong, the communist added. He asked Krasheninnikov to explain how the income information would be published in a generalized form. He gave an example - "15 deputies of the State Duma hid their income for such and such an amount." “What kind of collective responsibility will this be in the end, based again on that amendment,” Kurinny was surprised. Krasheninnikov again referred to the criminal law: “If he hid his property and did not show it in the declaration, how will the publication help you”? He added that in the regions, because of the declaration, people stopped going to public authorities: “Of course, they got rid of them, and there are no problems. No, this is wrong. We need to involve the widest strata of the population.”

Kurinny said that Krasheninnikov's speech would "go into quotations." “Today, it turns out, the declaration prevents us from involving wide sections of the population. As I understand it, the layer is rather narrow, so those who today do not want to indicate their property <…> And what’s more, now we allow it to be done, practically depersonalizing all this information and introducing it into ourselves in order there, ”said Kuriny. He stated that if a person forgot to indicate information in the declaration, then this is indicated to him - and this is not a crime, although it "characterizes an additional person." Krasheninnikov said to this that, based on the class approach, “you are acting”, “you are pulling the quote out of context.” “You don’t have to do that,” the deputy said.

Once adopted, the law should come into force on March 1, 2023.

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