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    Russian Press - Behind the Headlines, December 20

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    Naryshkin’s nomination for speaker supported only by United Russia / Massive breakdown at Russia’s unified exchange provokes lawsuits


    Naryshkin’s nomination for speaker supported only by United Russia

    The LDPR, the Communists and A Just Russia are firmly opposed to Sergei Naryshkin being appointed speaker of the State Duma and say they will not vote for him. Liberal Democrats plan to nominate their leader, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the Communists will announce their candidate on December 20, while A Just Russia has no candidate but will vote against Naryshkin because he has been nominated by United Russia.

    The ruling party’s General Council approved his nomination on December 17. They have 238 seats in parliament, which is enough to vote him in unassisted, as the requisite majority is 226 votes. Yet the opposition has decided to indicate its attitude to Naryshkin.

    “We have decided not to vote for Sergei Naryshkin,” said Sergei Mironov, leader of A Just Russia party in parliament. Naryshkin “is a good professional whose only drawback is that he has been nominated by United Russia.” Mironov says his party has not made any decisions on the distribution of Duma committees because they have not received any proposals from United Russia or the working committee on the house’s structure. “We plan to work in the State Duma and expect to chair several key committees,” the politician said. He said his colleagues have good candidates for the budget, social policy and several other key committees.

    The LDPR will not vote for Naryshkin because they have their own candidate. “We will nominate Vladimir Zhirinovsky,” said Igor Lebedev, a Liberal Democrat who will be recommended for the post of deputy speaker. “So far, we are also not satisfied with the nomination for one of the committees” on foreign affairs, Lebedev told Kommersant, adding that they are holding consultations. If no agreement is reached, the Liberal Democrats will hiss Naryshkin out. They have recommended Sergei Kalashnikov for the healthcare committee, Alexei Ostrovsky for the committee on public associations and religious organizations, and Igor Ananskikh for the committee on youth, sports and tourism.

    The Communists will not vote for Naryshkin either because they will support their own candidates, Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov said. He declined to state any names though. Vadim Solovyov, chief of the Communist Party’s legal department, told Kommersant that candidates for the posts of speaker and committee heads would be discussed on Tuesday.

    The new State Duma will have 29 committees (down from 32), with 15 of them chaired by United Russia deputies (formerly 26), six by Communists (up from 2) and four each by the LDPR and A Just Russia deputies (formerly 2).


    Massive breakdown at Russia’s unified exchange provokes lawsuits

    Private traders consider suing the newly-merged stock and currency exchange after a massive breakdown on the first day of trading led to losses reaching 180% of their securities accounts.

    Trading on the merged MICEX-RTS exchange started Monday with the ring of a bell and a salvo of confetti. “The legal merger of the two trading platforms followed months of hard work by a joint team,” Chairman Ruben Aganbegyan said also expressing hope that the unified exchange would from now on avoid technical breakdowns that have plagued the MICEX operation lately.

    His hopes were dashed when the next technical breakdown hit hours after the bell, greater than ever before, significantly garbling trading positions.
    Trading had to be suspended on the FORTS derivatives market and the Standard cash equity market shortly after the evening session started. The mixed up positions caused many raised eyebrows because the problem persisted even after trading was resumed. New posts appeared on traders’ forums all night reporting ridiculous losses. “I had 71,000 rubles before cash clearing. Then it appeared out of nowhere that I had short positions in 158 RI futures contracts. I closed them. When trading resumed, I had long positions in them. I lost 125,000 rubles or 180% of my custody account. I got 55,000 rubles in the red in four minutes,” a trader complained on Finam.

    “Let’s file a collective lawsuit from Smart-Lab,” another trader wrote. “Those whose losses are insignificant are unlikely to initiate their own lawsuits, but they might agree to join others as witnesses and/or victims.”

    An exchange spokesman declined to comment until the situation is thoroughly analyzed by technical professionals. The results will be announced on Tuesday, he added.

    “Breakdowns happen at the world’s largest exchanges. We wanted to create one of the largest ones, and so we did. Now we have large breakdowns,” Anatoly Gavrilenko, chairman of the Russian Exchange Union, said ironically.

    He became serious, however, when discussing losses and profit shortfalls. “Even if you lost one ruble, I wouldn’t dismiss that loss as insignificant. This is unfortunate, and wrong, and unpleasant. But each specific case needs to be considered separately, and I can tell you that the exchange will not neglect the issue. We have a meeting on the derivatives market on Thursday. We will hear from the people who are responsible for it,” assured Gavrilenko, who heads the MICEX committee on the derivatives market.

    RIA Novosti is not responsible for the content of outside sources.

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