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    Nearly Half of Russians Say Parliament’s Lower House Is Unneeded

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    Nearly half of Russians think that their federal parliament’s lower house, the State Duma, plays too little a role in the country’s political process to be needed, a survey showed Tuesday.

    MOSCOW, November 26 (RIA Novosti) – Nearly half of Russians think that their federal parliament’s lower house, the State Duma, plays too little a role in the country’s political process to be needed, a survey showed Tuesday.

    Only 39 percent of respondents (down 8 percentage points since 2011) said the country could not function normally without the Duma, while 43 percent said the legislature was largely redundant, compared with 32 percent in 2011.

    Only 16 percent of respondents said they had positive feelings about the Duma’s work, down 4 percentage points since 2011.

    The survey, conducted on November 15-18 by the independent Levada Center pollster, involved 1,600 respondents across 45 Russian regions. The statistical margin of error did not exceed 3.4 percent.

    The Duma has approved a number of controversial bills in recent years, including banning the promotion of non-traditional sexual relationships toward minors.

    That legislation in particular has been widely criticized in Russia and abroad as a clampdown on the rights of sexual minorities.

    Other legal initiatives that have proven unpopular among certain parts of Russian society are the strict anti-piracy law and a ban on US adoptions of Russian orphans.

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    adoption, piracy, gay propaganda, Levada Center, State Duma
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