MOSCOW, July 10 (RIA Novosti) – A bill proposed by Russian opposition blogger Alexei Navalny to ban officials from buying cars worth more than 1.5 million rubles ($45,500) has gained the required 100,000 votes online to send it to the government for discussion, Digit.ru reported on Wednesday.
Navalny’s bill was the first to win popular support among several draft laws proposed by Russian citizens on the Russian Popular Initiatives (ROI) web portal.
Navalny’s bill gained 100,291 votes by the time the web portal posted statistics for the opposition blogger’s initiative. The bill was put to the vote on April 5.
Russian citizens’ proposals posted on the ROI web portal have the status of "popular" initiatives. If an initative gains at least 100,000 votes from citizens in a year, it must be submitted to the government to study and decide whether to send it to Russia’s parliament.
Navalny, a whistle-blowing blogger who has led large-scale street protests in Moscow against Russian President Vladimir Putin, is currently on trial on charges of stealing $500,000 worth of timber from state-run lumber company Kirovles.
His trial, which began in April and is now entering its final stages, is being held in the provincial city of Kirov - some 800 km (500 miles) from Moscow - where Navalny was working as an advisor to the Kirov Region governor when the alleged embezzlement took place. Navalny denies the charges and claims they are politically- motivated revenge for his anti-corruption activities.