Expert on pension reform: Duma members now understand that protests will not dissipate

06.12.2018, Moscow.

The members of the State Duma have realized that protests by Russian citizens against the pension reform will not dissipate, the Vice President of the Experimental Creative Center Yury Byaly said on December 5 in a comment to a correspondent of the Rossa Primavera News Agency.

 “The decision to sign an appeal to the Constitutional Court against the pension reform demonstrates that the Duma members from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (who initiated the appeal), the Just Russia party, and the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia have come to the understanding that the mass social protest against the pension reform, in contrast to the hopes of the United Russia members and the executive authorities, is far from ‘dissipating,’ and it will not disappear in the future. Therefore, keeping a distance from this protest will inevitably leave the parliamentary opposition without any political future,” Byaly said.

According to the expert, the chances of the appeal remain unclear. Firstly, the number of Duma members who signed the appeal is unknown. If this number is only slightly over the necessary 90 signatures, the authorities will try to put pressure on the Duma members in order to make the appeal legally invalid. Secondly, the chances regarding the Constitutional Court’s decision against the pension reform are unclear, because the Constitutional Court is not free from pressure, as it happens in any country in the world. Thirdly, the decision on this issue is to be taken by two Chambers of the Court (10 and 9 members). The judges of the Constitutional Court are nominated by the president of the Russian Federation and then approved by the Federation Council, and they can (which has repeatedly happened in the form of special opinions of the Court members) have different social and political views and legal positions.

 “In any event, the submission of this appeal to the Constitutional Court in the context of strong social rejection of the pension reform and a steady decline of the people’s trust towards the United Russia ruling party means that Russia has already entered a new political reality that is far from peaceful,” Byaly concluded.

On December 5 it became known that the members of the State Duma’s three opposition factions signed an appeal to the Constitutional Court of Russia to challenge the bill on raising the pension age.

In September, the Essence of Time social movement submitted over one million handwritten signatures of Russian citizens against the pension reform to the president’s office.

Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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