The only Russian lawmaker to vote against the annexation of Crimea was just booted out of parliament
Ilya Ponomarev has been expelled from Russia's State Duma for repeated absences. It's been roughly a year since Ponomarev participated in a session of parliament. The motion to strip him of his deputy's mandate won the support of 413 deputies. Just three members of the Duma opposed the measure.
Earlier today from the floor of the Duma, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the leader of the political party LDPR, accused Ponomarev of “vicious anti-Russian propaganda,” saying, “Dear Ilya Ponomarev, we say goodbye to you forever, but your memory will long haunt us and spoil our moods.”
Last month, Russia enacted a law that allows the Duma to eject any deputies who don't fulfill the duties of their office for 30 days or more. The legislation was drafted by deputies from the political party A Just Russia, which is the party through which Ponomarev was elected into the Duma in 2011.
Ponomarev was stripped of his parliamentary immunity from criminal prosecution in 2015. A court later arrested him in absentia. He's being prosecuted for allegedly embezzling funding for the Skolkovo technology center. Investigators say Ponomarev overcharged Skolkovo for several lectures and contracted research.
Ilya Ponomarev was the only Russian lawmaker to vote against the annexation of Crimea in 2014.