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    Russian upper house speaker calls for reinstatement of senator elections

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    The speaker of the Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, renewed on Tuesday calls for the reinstatement of senator elections in Russia.

    The speaker of the Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, renewed on Tuesday calls for the reinstatement of senator elections in Russia.

    Currently each Russian federal subject sends two unelected senators to the Federation Council, which consists of 166 seats.

    "I have consistently supported the election of members of the Federation Council by the population of the regions," Sergei Mironov wrote in an article, published on Tuesday in the Vedomosti business daily.

    "Electing Federation Council members directly by the population of the regions is the most democratic way to form the chamber and gives the utmost legitimacy to a senator's mandate," he added.

    Mironov, who heads the pro-Kremlin A Just Russia party, also criticized a recent bill that proposes abolishing the powers of Federation Council members to approve newly appointed senators.

    The current approval procedure allows the Federation Council to conduct official checks to ascertain whether a senator is suitable for the office.

    "This [the proposed amendment] would further increase the existing corruption risks, and weaken the system of checks and balances in relations between the federal center and the regions. It may also lead to numerous litigations concerning the lawfulness/unlawfulness of the appointment of Federation Council members," Mironov said.

    MOSCOW, November 9 (RIA Novosti)

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