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    Medvedev proposes taking measures against truant MPs

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    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev proposed on Monday to take measures against truant lawmakers who avoid attending plenary sessions.

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev proposed on Monday to take measures against truant lawmakers who avoid attending plenary sessions.

    Lawmakers of the 450-seat State Duma were caught on video in late May running from empty seat to empty seat pressing voting buttons for absent MPs.

    The pro-Kremlin United Russia party reacted angrily to the video and said severe measures should be introduced against deputies who "skip" parliament sessions.

    "I propose to discuss fully the relevant legislative and other initiatives concerning changes in internal documents," Medvedev said at the meeting with the leaders of the parliamentary factions.

    He said the truancy problem in Russia's lower house of parliament was an internal issue though it had a "political dimension."

    In April, Medvedev sharply criticized the truant MPs saying the deputies' behavior was "an insult to the voters" and demanded that legislation be introduced to punish the absentees.

    The amendments for the legislation, which will impose strict sanctions, may include the cancellation of free travel on all kinds of transportation.

    State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov said the deputies could be deprived of their mandates, but he said that he hoped "such strict measures would not go that far."

    GORKI (Moscow Region), June 29 (RIA Novosti)

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