Because of the epidemic of the coronavirus, the deputies will de facto to isolate themselves in full force until mid-may.
Next week the state Duma may in fact suspend its work there for almost a month. The decision will be made after meetings of the government with the parliamentary factions (meetings will be held from Monday to Thursday). The Council of the state Duma is ready to cancel scheduled for 14 and 15 April plenary session of the house. And already on 16 April the deputies begins an official two-week vacation, followed by may holidays. In the end, the next plenary meeting of the state Duma can be held only on may 12.
Meanwhile, April 15, at Okhotny Ryad, a report on the work of the government was to come, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. But now the date of his speech, it seems, will have to move to a later date.
By and large, the people’s representatives had no choice but to isolate themselves in their apartments for the period of the pandemic. On Monday, their mass was subjected to test for coronavirus, and on Tuesday at the plenary session of the state Duma came 112 out of 450 deputies. On Wednesday there were even more — about 130. Who knows what would the situation developed further, but the deputies, to pass laws, it is necessary to obtain a quorum of at least 226 votes. And at this rate of decreasing the plenary one of these days could just be illegitimate and the Parliament would still have to turn away.
It is clear that now the house are already sitting mostly elderly parliamentarians. But the Deputy from the Communist party Denis Parfyonov said on his channel in the Telegram that morning at the entrance to the state Duma noticed the FSO a list with the names of the MPs who, presumably, can’t be missed in the building of the chamber. “Does this additional verification of the lists that some 15 deputies have already been infected? Or a list of those who failed the test?”, — asked the Deputy.
I must say that in addition to testing, the parliamentarians, and all employees and visitors of the state Duma, daily measure the temperature. The building itself is also regularly disinfected, placed around sanitizer and restaurant facilities are closed. But MPs have to sit side by side in the courtroom, so if one coughs, followed by quarantine will go at least ten of his neighbors.
However, only some of them go to work in medical masks and gloves. Some admit that they can afford to purchase a scarce commodity even at a higher price, but do not want to incur the wrath of people who have to make a mask from scrap materials or hope for the best. Others, like the Deputy of the state Duma from the Communist party, Nikolai kolomeytsev, simply does not believe that such protection is effective.
“Your mask doesn’t save you!”, said Kolomeitsev at a meeting of the state Duma on Wednesday in response to the call of the speaker of the state Duma Vyacheslav Volodin, not to neglect the means of protection, working in the hall. While the latter blamed the speaker that he is trying to “educate” members, he is sitting without a mask “Yes, I would put it on, but I did not get a dialogue with you. What you would have heard the Boo-Boo?..”, — justified Volodin. Despite this, he continued to teach deputies, blaming them for the fact that by their behavior they give voters “a bad example” and demonstrate “recklessness”, which will lead to no good.
I wonder how it will be the mode of isolation of the deputies given the fact that the planned introduction of rules of behaviour of citizens in terms of the epidemic on them in full is clearly not to be distributed. And salary at the time of the forced days off, they just retain the whole, in contrast to the same ordinary voters, many of whom have been left without incomes and it is unclear how they will survive.
However, it can be assumed that citizens will be happy with the isolation of MPs. The Duma while there is no technical possibility to arrange plenary meetings and to vote for laws remotely from the comfort of home. This means that at least until mid-may, they will not be able to take none of the unpopular law. To declare the country an emergency or to quickly allocate money from the budget will without them — the government and regional authorities is not going to go into isolation.
Deputies on the eve of the shock work, adopting the so-called “anti-virus package”, which consists of approximately ten laws and represents the response of the Russian authorities to the pandemic coronavirus (read more here). On Wednesday the state Duma has supplemented it by taking the third reading the law on credit vacation for households and small businesses, and extending the ability to delay the payment of loans not only in food, but also borrowers of consumer loans.
Another adopted law from this package temporarily allows pharmacists to remotely sell and deliver by courier to the house is not only normal but also prescription drugs (except for narcotic and psychotropic and with a high content of alcohol).
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