LEFT-WING LAWMAKERS CALL FOR DISMISSAL OF RUSSIAN ELECTRICITY GIANT'S INCUMBENT CHAIR

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MOSCOW, June 22 (RIA Novosti) - The left-wing Rodina faction in the State Duma, or Russia's lower house of parliament, regards as self-destructive the reforms currently being effected by the management of Russia's Unified Energy Systems (UES) electricity giant, faction leader Dmitri Rogozin told RIA on Tuesday.

The Rodina faction will be pushing for the dismissal of the incumbent UES Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Anatoli Chubais, Rogozin said. Chubais' five-term tenure expired last year, and he is now holding the office unlawfully, the MP explained.

In Rogozin's view, the UES is being reformed not in the direction the

nation needs. He sees the management's performance as ineffective and says the electricity supplies are overpriced.

In view of the above, the Rodina faction has sent a request to the Prime Minister and the Prosecutor General's Office that an official inquiry be carried out, Rogozin said. He also announced that at his faction's initiative, a panel discussion on the current state of the Russian energy industry will take place at the State Duma on Thursday, June 24. The panelists will include UES board members, scientists, and industry experts. The event will run ahead of a UES shareholder meeting, scheduled for June 30, Rogozin said.

The State Duma's Energy Committee does not support the idea of holing such a panel discussion.

"I deem it inexpedient to hold the panel discussion as the State Duma heard reports on electricity industry reform from the Cabinet and UES Inc. at a recent plenary session," Energy Committee Chair Yuri Lipatov said to RIA. The MPs then received detailed information on progress in reforming the energy industry and on how the reform laws passed by the Duma and the related Cabinet resolutions are being implemented, he added.

Lipatov also said that he could see no grounds for bringing up the issue of Chubais' removal from the position of UES Chair. "The State Duma has considered thisissue already; the MPs found no violations in Chubais' reelection to the office. As I see it, there are no new circumstances that would call into question Chubais' efficiency as head of UES Inc.," he pointed out.

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